It has long been a bone of contention within English football that despite the obvious strength and wealth associated with the Premier League, the English national team consistently under achieved in major tournaments and there seemed to be a lack of young players coming through to inspire the next generation.
The careers the likes of Jack Wilshere and Theo Walcott have had are examples of the weight media scrutiny placed on players from the age of 16 can have and both men were coming through at a time in English football where they were seen as the ‘only hope’.
However, with the game in England arguably at its strongest in nearly a decade, with domestic sides reaching the last 8 of both the Europa League and Champions League, England’s youth and women’s sides winning trophies in recent seasons and the men’s national team reaching the World Cup semi-finals – English football has a wealth of rising talents coming through the system.
Back in 2012, the FA completed their multi-million pound project to build the English football national training centre in Burton Upon Trent – geographically in the centre of the country to assist the players travelling to meet up for international duty. The vision of having a ‘club style’ mentality at international level was seen as cutting edge. It allowed the national teams at all youth levels for both men and women to be training centrally and ideologies and playing styles could be introduced to players at a younger age. In addition, players could become familiar with coaches as they moved up the age groups. If a player was deemed good enough, they would be promoted to the appropriate side – regardless of their age.
St George’s Park is now in its 7th year of operation and the results of all the hard work done at the National Training Centre are starting to pay dividends. During the most recent international break, England’s senior squad scored 10 goals in 2 games; with Gareth Southgate naming one of the youngest squads in recent history. England are currently the favourites to win the inaugural UEFA Nations League this summer at 2/1.
In addition to the plethora of home-grown talents applying their trade in the English Leagues, the likes of Jadon Sancho, Reiss Nelson and Reece Oxford have made successful moves to the Bundesliga, which is testament to the influence English football is currently having on the European game. For the likes of Sancho, his stock is rising and he could be tempted with a move back to England. He is currently 3/1 to leave Dortmund this summer (for any club) and Manchester United are the 5/1 favourites to secure his services.
With confidence flowing at all levels of English football, there’s a wealth of rising talents coming through the system. Here we take a look at some of the names fans will be hoping to see a lot more from in the years to come:
Callum Hudson-Odoi – Chelsea
Chelsea youngster Callum Hudson-Odoi has burst onto the scene during the 2018-19 season despite limited first team starts under manager Maurizio Sarri. As one of the youngest members of England’s World Cup winning Under 17 side in 2017, his talents have been well known to those within the game but few expected him to be having such an impact at the top level at this early stage in his career.
He was the subject of a £35 million bid from Bayern Munich in January – a bid quickly rebuffed by Chelsea and he picked up his first international cap for England in their recent Euro 2020 qualifier against Montenegro. His pace and trickery looks to be his biggest asset coupled with his seemingly unbreakable levels of self-confidence. Whilst defenders and managers will obviously look to make plans to play against him as his stock rises, he seems unfazed to be operating in the Premier League currently. With Callum seeming out of favor, it’s surely only a matter of time until he seeks a change of club with Sarri as manager. The best odds on Callum Hudson-Odoi to move to Bayern Munich is currently 4/1 with Bet Victor. www.bestbetsfree.com list the latest Bet Victor sign up offers and codes. It’s always worth checking the latest offers out to see if you eligible for a free bonus bet.
Phil Foden – Manchester City
Another of England’s stars at the 2017 Under 17 World Cup was Manchester City midfielder Phil Foden, with the diminutive midfielder picking up the Golden Ball award for being the player of the tournament. His stock has risen ever since and the ‘Stockport Iniesta’ went on to establish himself as an important part of the Manchester City squad this season. He recently got called up to the England under 21 side and for Manchester City he has scored in the Champions League, FA Cup and League Cup – registering six goals in all competitions. At the age of just 18, he already has 3 domestic trophies to his name. Despite calls from media outlets to see him playing more minutes, Pep Guardiola has insisted he is key to his future plans at Manchester City.
Whilst Hudson-Odoi and Foden are two of the biggest young talents in England currently, the following players also look to have the world at their feet:
Mason Mount – Derby County (on loan from Chelsea) – Mount was one of Frank Lampard’s first signings at Derby and he has scored 5 goals in 27 appearances this term. His performances at the start of the season earned him a call-up to the senior squad.
Eddie Nketiah – Arsenal – Nketiah is a product of the Arsenal academy and provided the assist as England won the Under 21 Toulon Tournament last season. He has made 5 first team appearances and has scored in the Carabao Cup for the Gunners.
Angel Gomes – Manchester United – Whilst Gomes is from Portuguese descent, he has represented England at all of the youth levels between under 16 and under 19. The attacking midfielder has made a handful of first team appearances for United and will be hoping to develop under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mason Greenwood – Manchester United – 17 year old Mason Greenwood is breaking his way into the Manchester United team and looks to have similar traits to fellow academy graduate Marcus Rashford. He came off the bench in United’s famous Champions League comeback against PSG last month.
Morgan Gibbs-White – Wolves – At the tender age of just 19, Gibbs White has made over 50 senior appearances for Wolves including 21 in the Premier League this season. Despite no goals to his name as yet, the tricky winger looks to have all the hallmarks needed to play at the highest level.
Dwight McNeil – Burnley – 19 year old McNeil was asked to train with the senior squad with England in March and he has scored 3 Premier League goals already this season. The son of former professional footballer Matty McNeil, he looks to have a very bright future ahead of him.
The state of the game of football in England has never looked stronger across all levels. The fruits of the labour being done at St George’s Park are starting to show with the likes of Hudson-Odoi and Foden spearheading the next generation of English football.