What’s the story?
England, who were runners-up at the recently concluded European U17 Championship and are one of the tournament favourites, have announced their 21-man squad for the FIFA U-17 World Cup in India next month which includes plenty of star names from Premier League sides.
The Three Lions have always had a squad full of star names including global football icons, but have failed to impress on the big international stage when it mattered. The senior side's only World Cup success came in 1966 during the days of Sir Bobby Charlton and Sir Bobby Moore and was the only World Cup the England had ever won, until their U-20 side won the FIFA U-20 World Cup earlier this year.
The Young Lions have never won a U-17 World Cup but are two-time champions of the European U-17 Championship and agonizingly finished as runners-up in this year's tournament. They put up impressive performances throughout the tournament but missed out on the prize to Spain.
The heart of the matter
Here is the announced squad for the FIFA U17 World Cup next month :
Goalkeepers: Curtis Anderson (Manchester City), Josef Bursik (Stoke City), William Crelin (Fleetwood Town)
Defenders: Timothy Eyoma (Tottenham Hotspur), Morgan Gibbs White (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Lewis Gibson (Everton), Marc Guéhi (Chelsea), Joel Latibeaudiere (Manchester City), Tashan Oakley Boothe (Tottenham Hotspur), Jonathan Panzo (Chelsea), Steven Sessegnon (Fulham)
Midfielders: Conor Gallagher (Chelsea), Angel Gomes (Manchester United), Nya Kirby (Crystal Palace), George McEachran (Chelsea)
Forwards: Rhian Brewster (Liverpool), Philip Foden (Manchester City), Callum Hudson Odoi (Chelsea), Danny Loader (Reading), Jadon Sancho (Borussia Dortmund), Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal)
The squad features an array of talent and star names, some of whom have already made their impact in the Premier League and European football. Players like Jadon Sancho, Phil Foden, Rhian Brewster and Angel Gomes have already seen their praises being sung by top European clubs and pundits owing their performances for both club and country.
They were one of the most attacking teams at the European U-17 Championships and a similar display can be expected from them again during their World Cup campaign.
England, be it at any level in international football, always have a burden of massive expectations on them. For years, the side had global footballing names but always failed to produce the goods when it mattered the most.
The current bunch will have more expectations on them not only because of their great performance at the European Championships but more so after victorious campaigns by their U-20 and U-19 counterparts at the FIFA U-20 World Cup and the UEFA European U-19 Championship respectively which these Young Lions will be expected to emulate. England are one of the favourites to lift the trophy.