What a summer for England’s youth teams. With the Lionesses still roaring at Euro 2017, bar the World Cup success of 1966, this could easily be the best summer since that date.
Image from the Daily Mail of England u20’s World Cup success
Very rarely as England fans do we have much to celebrate: bar the third place finish of the Lionesses in the World Cup Canada 2017, the men’s senior teams best achievements are usually to get out of the group stage of any competition. Too recently the senior team has not looked like they wanted to be at a tournament, let alone win it. The image of Joe Hart and Gary Cahill realising they didn’t give enough in France still haunts me to this day.
Image from Fratexblog of pathetic excuses of England players
However the future may not be as dim as we had first thought, judging by the summer that the youth teams have had.
England’s U21’s, the next bright stars that are knocking on the senior squads door had a pretty good European U21 championship compared to recent years. When you remember that eligible players such as Marcus Rashford, Dele Alli, Harry Kane and Eric Dier were left out of the squad, and yet the team still reached the semi-finals (only to be beaten on penalties, again!!!). But with players such as Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham, who lit up the Championship with Bristol City, now on loan with Swansea, Liverpool’s Dominic Solanke, Everton’s Jordan Pickford, and Leicester’s Demarai Gray are just some of the exciting talent that could be coming through soon.
Image from Sky Sports of Abraham in action
Even further down the youth scale, there is excitement brewing, with the U20’s team being crowned World Champions after a thrilling final against Venezuela. The u20’s were the first side since the Alf Ramsey team that reached the final in 66 to reach a final, an impressive feat in itself. With a mix of Premier League and Championship youth, these youngsters should be hoping to knock on the first team squad door after their recent exploits. Everton’s Lookman and Calvert-Lewin were already used by Ronald Koeman last season, so hopefully these youngsters continue their personal growth.
Image of Calvert-Lewin from the Everton website
There were winners once more for the u19’s team, as they were European U19 Champions, beating Portgual 2-1. Buoyed by their elder year groups success, the U19’s triumph means England have now had 3 teams in a final since 1966! Ryan Sessegnon is one of the most exciting left footed talents England have had since Ashley Cole, and Fulham will face a struggle to keep hold of him, with Premier League giants sniffing around. Again the players in this team will be hoping to break into their club squads.
Image from the Sun of Ryan Sessegnon, a talent who has already got many excited
The last year group who reached a final were the U17’s, who unfortunately lost to penalties (again) to Spain. Though they may have lost, it highlights that the future for this countries football is well and truly bright. The next big step will be to integrate these young lions into the first team for their clubs, so that their country can benefit. If they don’t, they will all become yet another lost generation in the many that England have produced.