Arsenal have lost out on the signing of highly-rated 16-year-old, Ethan Ampadu, after Chelsea agreed a deal with the youngster whose dad coaches at Arsenal.

The defender, who made his professional debut aged just 15 years, 10 months and 26 days, had been heavily linked with the Gunners, especially as his dad, Kwame, manages the under-18s.

Ethan, who made 13 appearances for Exeter’s first team last season, was offered a scholarship contract with The Grecians, but opted to move to west London. Chelsea are now negotiating a compensation package for the teenager with the League 2 side.

“Everyone at Exeter City fully supports Ethan’s decision to sign for Chelsea,” Paul Tisdale, Exeter’s manager, said. “He had many options available to him and has decided that Chelsea provides him with the best opportunity to develop the next step of his career. We wish him the very best of luck. 

“Ethan has shown real maturity and professionalism throughout last season, balancing his school work with his training at Exeter City. At the same time, he has represented Wales at different age groups. We thank him for his contribution on the pitch and feel very proud of what he has become. Our academy should again be mentioned for the excellent work it does in not only nurturing talented footballers, but also well-rounded individuals.

“Ethan is another in a long line of home grown players to graduate through our academy into our first team. At Exeter City we will continue to support our youth system by encouraging and promoting our young players into competitive senior football when they are ready.”

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