Chelsea to include 17-year-old Ampadu in the squad to face Nottingham Forest

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The Blues will put out a young side in the League Cup on Wednesday night which could see one of their youngsters get his first start

Antonio Conte has revealed that young Chelsea star Ethan Ampadu will make the bench against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, joining Charly Musonda and Kenedy in the match-day squad. 

Ampadu only turned 17 last week but his career has been rapidly on the rise after joining Chelsea from Exeter City in the summer.

Chelsea 11/2 to win League Cup

The teenager debuted at Exeter at the tender age of 15, making him their youngest player in history.

This week he trained with the Chelsea first team and he could make his debut for the champions in the League Cup, having earned his first international call up with Wales squad at the start of September.

"Yes [Ampadu will be included]." Conte said. "Ampadu is a young player, but I think he has good quality. He has good prospects to become a Chelsea player. He's strong physically, good technique and personality. 

"Yes, I think we have to continue to work with him and to try and improve him, to bring him to the next step. But for sure he has good prospects at Chelsea to become a Chelsea player.

Ethan Ampadu

"I don't think that, if your national team calls you up [Ampadu] and you are 16 years old [at the time of the call up], it puts pressure on you. You must be proud of this. But, for sure, he has to work a lot to deserve another call-up to the national team.

"We must be pleased because this player is a Chelsea player and now it's important to work very well with him and try and improve his weaknesses. Yes, but he's a young player. I'm sure he's a good prospect for Chelsea.”

Ampadu joins Musonda and Kenedy, who Conte confirmed would face Forest in the cup. Musonda will be making his first start for the club, while Kenedy also makes his first appearance since getting a formal warning from the FA for his Instagram posts that caused offence in China during pre-season.

Despite the youthful looking squad for the League Cup match, Chelsea have regularly faced criticism over their record of giving youngsters a chance. Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Nathaniel Chalobah, Bertrand Traore and Ola Aina all left the club in the summer on a mixture loan moves and permanent deals after not getting enough chances in the first team. 

However, Conte was defiant and he thinks that Andreas Christensen's good form after returning from a two-year loan deal with Borussia Monchengladbach is an example of how to break through at the club. 

“I think, last season, if you remember very well, Chalobah had the chance to play," Conte added. "Don't forget last season we won the league. Don't forget last season our midfielders were Matic, Kante and Fabregas. I think that you have to consider all these components, and then Chalobah, last season, was the fourth midfielder.

"He had the chance to play. That is normal if you ask to play regularly with a great club, then you must deserve to play. And to deserve to take Kante's or Matic's or Fabregas' place. If you show you deserve to play and can be better than these players, I'm ready to do this. That's normal.

"But now we have a clear example with Christensen. Christensen played on loan at Borussia Monchengladbach and now he's in our squad. He played almost every game and now he's ready to play. Ready to play in the Champions League.

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"Ready to play from the start with Chelsea. I think, for the young players, it's very important to find the right path for them. To try to make them good experience and then to be ready to play for Chelsea. 

“I think if you are good enough to play with a great team, you play. I think this. Every coach wants to win. I don't care if one player is a young player or an old player. If a player, an old player, 36-years-old, makes me happy and helps me to win, I pick him.

"It's the same if a player, a young player, 16-years-old, helps me to win, I'm ready to do this also. Don't forget that my first appearance in Serie A was when I was 16. I think I'm the first person to trust in the young players, to give possibilities to them, if young players deserve this chance. If the young players give me the posisbility to win. I want to win. I don't want to lose.”