Is Ethan Ampadu still a Chelsea player?
That's according to journalist Phil Hay, who took to Twitter to confirm Nizaar Kinsella's earlier claim that they will make Ethan Ampadu their first senior signing of the summer.
He would write:
"Leeds United and Chelsea reach agreement over a deal for Ethan Ampadu. Initial fee of around £7m with add-ons attached. Clears the way for a medical and for Ampadu to become the club's first signing of the summer."
With the 22-year-old having failed to establish himself as a first-team member since joining the Blues in 2017, this move could finally mark an opportunity for the defender to reignite a career that once promised much.
The 6 foot 1 ace has just one year left on his £37k-per-week deal.
What position is Ethan Ampadu?
One of the outstanding qualities of the Wales international is his impeccable versatility, given his ability to star in a number of roles.
Across a tumultuous career, where he has ventured out on four separate loan moves since moving to Stamford Bridge, he has featured at right-back, defensive midfield and his preferred centre-back.
Of those spells, whilst the two in Italy did allow him to impress, his year at Sheffield United will likely be of most interest to fans seeking to get a taste of his qualities within English football.
Featuring 25 times in the Premier League during the 2020/21 season, in which the Blades finished rock bottom, he would maintain a 6.95 average rating massively boosted through his two interceptions, 2.3 tackles and 3.3 clearances per game, via Sofascore. This made him their highest-rated player that year.
Even before this, Ryan Giggs had sought to praise him by claiming: "He’s a future leader and it’s great to see him get minutes on the pitch. It’s my hope that he’ll get more games and he’ll get better."
To pair such imperious solidity with the equally staunch Max Wober, it could pose a frightening prospect for the rest of the Championship.
Few strikers would relish facing a pairing boasting this much quality.
After all, the Austria international, who only moved to Elland Road in January, took no time at all to acclimatise to the physicality of English football.
His 6.84 average rating made him the club's third-best performer of those who started five or more games, as he too would record 1.7 interceptions and four clearances per game, via Sofascore.
From conceding the most goals in the division last term, such a signing would go a long way towards rectifying the fragility that has plagued the club for some time.
With Ampadu yet to realise the immense potential that he commanded when bursting onto the Premier League scene as a 17-year-old, perhaps the alleviated pressure that a permanent move down the football pyramid would bring could prove vital in revitalising a career still very much in its infancy.
After all, former professional football Paul McVeigh had noted back in 2016: "Footballing world, take note of this young player. Ethan Ampadu. He's going to be very special."
His experience is vast compared to most others of his age, and under the stewardship of promotion-specialist Farke and alongside Wober, all the facets are in place for him to finally start playing the way many know he can at a consistent level.