England turned down Welsh international Ethan Ampadu for ‘taking too few touches’, according to his fomer manager at Exeter City, Paul Tisdale.
Ampadu made his debut for Wales in a friendly last November, and effectively committed his future when he represented Ryan Giggs’s side in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat by Denmark in the Nations League.
The 17-year-old Chelsea midfielder began his professional career at Exeter aged only 15 under the guidance of Tisdale, and his prodigious talent combined with his eligibility for Republic of Ireland and Ghana as well as Wales and England sparked a race for his international allegiance.
Ampadu, whose mother is Welsh, represented England Under-16s in 2015 while he considered his options, but Tisdale was told England had “12 players better”.
“I phoned England, very relevant people, to say you have to get hold of this chap,” Tisdale told BBC 5 Live.
“I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan, but I was told he takes too few touches. They were looking for players who want to take more touches, but that is his strength, he does things in one touch or two touches and sees things early.
“I was told they had better, 12 players better, and they were aware of Ethan, but I told them he thinks correctly, acts correctly and makes good decisions.”
Ampadu made his Premier League debut for Chelsea last December but has yet to feature this season.