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Chelsea coach elevates Super Falcons-eligible player to first-team training before Ajax

Posted : 27 March 2024

On Tuesday, midfielder Ashanti Akpan participated in Chelsea's final training session before their UEFA Women's Champions League match against Ajax Amsterdam, which took place on Wednesday at Stamford Bridge.

Emma Hayes, the renowned manager of Chelsea, decided to promote the talented England U19 international to the first-team training session, hinting at a potential inclusion in the matchday squad for the upcoming game.

Considering Chelsea's comfortable 3-0 lead from the first leg and with an eye on the League Cup final against Arsenal on Sunday, there is a possibility that Hayes may opt to rest some key players for the Ajax clash.

Akpan qualifies to play in the Champions League as she is listed on Chelsea's List B, having been associated with the club for approximately eleven years.

Should she make her Champions League debut under Hayes' guidance, Akpan will wear the number 36 jersey for Chelsea.

Born in Warsaw to a Polish mother and Nigerian father, the 18-year-old talent has yet to receive a call-up to the first team since her senior debut against Reading in the Women’s FA Cup quarterfinal in March 2023.

In the previous season, Akpan was named as an unused substitute in Chelsea's 2-0 victory over Real Madrid during the group stage of the Champions League.

Having signed a new contract with Chelsea in December, Akpan's deal extends until the end of the 2024-2025 season, with the option for an additional year.



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