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Rob Page drools over Leeds United defender Ethan Ampadu

Leeds United are in the mix to secure an automatic qualification this season and there have been some outstanding individual performances. 

The Whites have been rock solid at the back and they have peaked at new heights in 2024, having won 12 of their last 13 Championship games.

Leeds skipper Ethan Ampadu has been receiving loads of praise from pundits, and now Wales manager Rob Page has hailed him as an “exceptional” player.

The 23-year-old will start for Wales in the upcoming international games where he will be making his 50th appearance for his country.

Ampadu, who joined Leeds in a bargain £9million deal from Chelsea, is tipped to become the country’s long-term captain under Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale.

Since the turn of the year, he has been wearing the captain’s armband, and Page believes Ampadu has all the qualities to be a fantastic leader for his country as well.

Rob Page gushes about Leeds United skipper Ethan Ampadu

“He’s a future Wales captain. He’s captain of Leeds, a big club. He’s a great lad, very humble, doesn’t get carried away and he’s a model pro on and off the pitch,” Page said (17 March, page 61) to Sunday Mirror.

“Leeds wouldn’t have given him the captaincy if they didn’t think he could cope with it. I know him a bit better and I can see why he’s taken it so well and he’ll enjoy it.

“His performances are consistent, week in, week out. Throughout the year, how he trains is how he is during the game. That’s what you want. Ethan and Joe have been exceptional this season. I’ve been to Leeds quite a bit and they’ve been outstanding.”

Ampadu has made 37 starts in the Championship for Leeds this season. He started the season playing as a defensive midfielder, but after Pascal Struijk got injured, he was used in central defence alongside Joe Rodon.

Their partnership blossomed and it is no coincidence that Leeds have reached a new height this year with those two at the back. Rodon, who joined on loan from Tottenham in the summer, has been equally sensational.

It will be interesting to see what Daniel Farke does when Struijk makes a comeback after a long injury lay-off. He could be tempted to bring the Dutch defence in defence, and Ampadu won’t mind at all playing in midfield.

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