Chelsea kid Ethan Ampadu was snubbed by England because he took “too few touches”, his former Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale was told.
The current MK Dons manager handed Ampadu his first senior start aged 15 when he managed the Grecians in 2016.
Tisdale knew he had a gem on his hands and made contact with the FA urging them to select the gifted schoolboy.
At a time when Gareth Southgate is crying out for more quality in midfield, the 17-year-old committed his international future to Wales by producing a man-of-the-match performance in the 4-1 win against the Republic of Ireland in the Nations League.
Tisdale told BBC 5Live: “I phoned England, very relevant people, to say you have to get hold of this chap.
“I haven’t seen a 14-year-old as good as Ethan, but I was told he takes too few touches.
“They were looking for players who want to take more touches, but that is his strength, he does things in one touch or two touches and sees things early.
“I was told they had better, 12 players better, and they were aware of Ethan, but I told them he thinks correctly, acts correctly and makes good decisions.”
Despite leaving Exeter in the summer, Tisdale has kept close tabs on the midfielder since he moved to Stamford Bridge.
He added: “He’s been destined to be a very good player and I’m sure he’s going to get even better.
“It’s been fabulous to watch his progress in the last couple years as I had a large part to play in his first year playing professional football at Exeter.
“You have to have faith in the player and it was something we did at Exeter.
“I had faith in my ability to spot his talent, but I also had extreme faith in Ethan.”
The Chelsea youngster assisted Aaron Ramsey for Wales’ third goal in Cardiff last week and looked composed on the ball from the start.
Tisdale continued: “I watched him play the other night against Ireland and I was again very impressed.
“He is incredibly talented, but it isn’t about the technical ability, it is about thinking correctly in the right place at the right time and seeing the game so clearly.”
It was a different story in the defeat to Denmark, Ampadu gave away a penalty handing Christian Eriksen his second goal of the game.
However, Tisdale believes Ampadu who made his Blues senior bow a year ago will go all the way in the game.
He added: “He’s so determined as a chap, he chose Chelsea and it was no surprise that before he turned 17 he had made his first appearance there.
“Whatever happens with Ethan he will be very purposeful and he will force himself through to success.
“As we have seen with Wales he steps up to every level and has confidence in his own ability.”