The 2018/19 season could well be the first to see a goalscorer born in the year 2000, and England have a lot of talented up-and-comers who fit that description.
One of these players is Rhian Brewster, one of the breakthrough stars at the 2017 Under-17 World Cup. He top-scored with eight goals, including hat-tricks in the quarter-final against the United States and the semi-final against Brazil, and played his part as England came from behind to beat Spain 5-2 in the final.
Brewster will be part of Liverpool’s senior set-up for the first time during the 2018/19 season, once he recovers from an ankle ligament injury, having committed his long-term future to the Reds this season. He was the only Liverpool player in that World Cup squad, but has spoken of the great camaraderie they enjoyed, from goalkeeper through to strikers.
A couple of players have made the step up from England’s impressive Under-20 and Under-21 squads to represent the senior side, including Tammy Abraham, Lewis Cook and Dom Solanke, and now could be the time for the Under-17s to shine.
“Everyone in my England team deserves it [progress into the senior team] and those above deserve it too for what they’ve achieved,” Brewster told ShortList at the adidas Football Creator Base.
However, he picked out a few names who we should be keeping an eye on going forward.
1. Callum Hudson-Odoi
Hudson-Odoi also played for England at the Under-17 World Cup, scoring their first goal of the tournament in a 4-0 win over Chile. The forward top-scored for Chelsea’s Under-21s in the 2017/18 EFL Trophy, and made four substitute appearances for the Blues’ first team in the Premier League and FA Cup. After impressing in pre-season, he will hope to feature more under new manager Maurizo Sarri.
What people are saying: “In the future he will be a very, very strong player for sure. He will stay with us [in the first team] for the season.” – Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri.
2. Phil Foden
Club: Manchester City
Foden, a midfielder, was named player of the tournament at the Under-17 World Cup and followed it up by breaking into the first-team squad at Manchester City. His five Premier League appearances were enough to make him the youngest ever player to earn a league winner’s medal, while he also made two Champions League starts under Pep Guardiola.
What people are saying: “If he was nominated as one of the best young players in the world, he is something special and I think he is.” – Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola
3. Marc Guehi
Another member of the Chelsea contingent, Ivorian-born Guehi captained the Under-17s to World Cup glory, scoring the fifth and final goal in the victory over Spain in the final. He has been with the Blues since childhood, but is yet to make his first-team bow.
What people are saying: “I am very happy for our five [England Under-17 players]… and I am very happy for our Academy because it means our Academy is working very well.” – Former Chelsea manager Antonio Conte
4. Jadon Sancho
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Sancho, an attacking player, left Manchester City for Borussia Dortmund over fears around the time it would take him to break into the first team, and his risk has paid off so far. He scored his first Bundesliga goal in April, and has progressed from Under-17 to Under-19 in an England shirt.
What people are saying: “Jadon is a brilliant player technically” – Germany and Borussia Dortmund winger Marco Reus
5. Angel Gomes
Club: Manchester United
Gomes became the first ever player born in the year 2000 to feature in the Premier League when he came on for Manchester United on the final day of the 2016/17 season. A diminutive attacking midfielder, he spent most of last season in United’s development squad, but made one substitute appearance in the FA Cup.
What people are saying: “Angel is like Paul Scholes; he can dictate a game with his intelligence.” – former Man Utd academy graduate Danny Webber
Callum Hudson-Odoi wears the brand new Team Mode X18, available from adidas.co.uk