Leeds, Chelsea and Newcastle stars told to follow in Barkley's footsteps

Highly-rated Leeds United, Chelsea and Newcastle United youngsters amongst those hoping to emulate Everton star and England international Ross Barkley tonight by winning the UEFA U17 European Championship trophy.

John Peacock is on the verge of taking another bright young England side on to glory after reaching the UEFA under-17 European Championship final, following an emphatic 2-0 win over Portugal earlier this week..

The young Lions had lady luck to thank in the first-half of the semi-final as a marauding Portugal hit the woodwork three times. Nevertheless, John Peacock's side turned on the style in the second-half and two world-class goals put the England side into the final where they will play the Netherlands tonight.

After the match, the England U17 manager said: 'All the players will look at Ross Barkley and think: that could be me.

'Four years ago he was sitting in their position, playing in this competition. Now he's going to the World Cup in Brazil. Absolutely, he can aspire them.'

Along with Barkley, there were a number of now established footballers who lifted the UEFA U17 European Championship that day, including: Andre Wisdom, Connor Wickham, Saido Berahino, Nathaniel Chalobah and Jack Butland. All of which have set a good example for young players to follow.

In the current England under-17 side there are a number of talents that could start to emerge sooner rather than later too.

Leeds United midfielder Lewis Cook has been tipped by many to become a part of the first-team picture next season and along with Alex Mowatt, they could build strong foundations for a long and successful future at the Yorkshire club.

Unsurprisingly, Chelsea are well represented with Isaiah Brown and goalscorer Dominic Solanke playing a major part in the tournament. And Newcastle United have exciting duo Fred Woodman and first-team striker Adam Armstrong in the squad, both of which could look to gain more first-team football next term.

If England are to claim their second European Championship within four years on tonight, it would undoubtedly spark debate to whether St Georges Park is already influencing player growth within the national set-up.

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