I feel good – Ethan Ampadu loving life at Leeds and ready to thrive with Wales
Ethan Ampadu believes Wales will feel the benefit of his settled life at Leeds and the end of his wanderlust.
Ampadu holds no regrets over leaving Chelsea this summer and heading to Elland Road after loan spells at RB Leipzig, Sheffield United, Venezia and Spezia – at the last three clubs he suffered relegation.
The 22-year-old joined Chelsea at the age of 16 in 2017 and was their longest serving player until his July departure, despite making just 12 senior appearances there in six years.
“It comes down to you as an individual,” Ampadu said about his Stamford Bridge exit.
“If you want to stay then you voice that opinion, but I felt it was the right time to leave.”
Ampadu has become a popular figure with Leeds fans in the early weeks of the Sky Bet Championship campaign, despite an indifferent start under Daniel Farke, and is the only man to play every minute for the Yorkshire club this term.
Utilised during his 44-cap Wales career either in central defence or midfield, Ampadu is relishing the opportunity to play in the middle of the park at Leeds.
A rich history is associated with that role over the years with Billy Bremner, David Batty, Gary McAllister and Kalvin Phillips among his central-midfield predecessors at Elland Road.
Ampadu said: “It’s not just the position I play but the history of the club in general, where the club belongs.
“We know on the outside where everyone wants us to be and within ourselves what we need to do to get where we want to be.
“You obviously feel the pressure in the club, but it’s more of an exciting pressure of knowing what you can achieve.
“I feel good and I’m enjoying being settled. I gave my all in each of the loans and I was focused on developing and becoming a better player.
“But maybe in the back of your mind when you know you are settled somewhere and you’re not on loan, there are little things you can improve on.
“If you are playing in one position, you can work on the finer little details within that position to take you to the next level.
“The results have not really gone our way so far. But our performances have given us the belief for the games coming up after the international break that we can do really well.”
Wales host South Korea in a Cardiff friendly on Thursday before meeting Latvia in a crunch Euro 2024 qualifier in Riga next Monday.
Rob Page’s side are in desperate need for points to book a top-two automatic qualifying spot after defeats by Armenia and Turkey in June.
“We’ve had time to reflect,” said Ampadu. “Everyone knows when you see a Wales team and how we performed in those games, well, that’s not us.
“Put that aside, we have to learn from it. It’s about reminding ourselves of those standards and what has got us success in the past.
“I’m sure that’s the baseline for us in these games coming up.”