After the bitter Euro 2016 exit at the hands of minnows Iceland, the saga involving Sam Allardyce and the uninspiring performances of the senior side under Gareth Southgate’s stewardship the men’s senior England team do not inspire confidence in the nation ahead of the World Cup in Russia next summer.
However, the future looks bright. Following on from the under-20s World Cup success the England under-17s defeated Spain 5-2 in India a week ago to become the world’s best in that age group.
The group, including such talents as Manchester City’s exceptional Phil Foden, Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster and Borussia Dortmund wunderkind Jadon Sancho certainly looks like an exceptional crop of talent.
This however is a familiar tale. Rewind seven years and England’s under-17s dominated Europe, again defeating Spain in the final. But where is that squad today? A journey that goes from the Premier League to India, here is how those careers have panned out in the ensuing seven years.
One of two players from the squad to have gone on and played senior football for England. The Stoke City starter has a wealth of support who believe he should have already usurped Joe Hart as England’s main custodian, after brilliant form with the Potters since his return from a serious ankle injury.
The talented Manchester United stopper has since been out on loan with seven different clubs, the latest of which is Championship side Aston Villa.
Not yet an England international, but a future in the senior set-up certainly looks a possibility.
The former Leeds United talent is now at Everton, where it appeared he had made his breakthrough in 2014-15. However, loan spells at Fulham and Wigan Athletic have followed during which he has suffered from injury trouble.
Performing well for the under-23s but not registered with the Everton team for the Premier League, Carabao Cup or Europa League by the now departed manager Ronald Koeman. Perhaps his chance will come in January.
Proof that success at this level does not automatically transcend into the senior ranks.
The then-Middlesbrough attacking full-back has not reached his full potential. The Angolan-born star left Teesside in 2013 and has gone on to play with non-league Darlington and Jarrow Roofing.
Most recently played for Swedish side Ytterhogdals IK, a team awash with British talent.
Scored an own goal and England’s equaliser in the final. Now with Derby County after failing to make the grade at Liverpool.
Players of the England under 17 football team react after first goal against Spain during their UEFA Euro 2010 Under 17 Football championship Final in Vaduz on May 30, 2010. England won...
Impressed as a 15-year-old centre-back at the competition. Nowadays a midfielder who spent time on loan at Watford, Nottingham Forest, Middlesbrough, Burnley, Reading and Napoli before permanently joining Watford this summer. Received his first England call-up at the start of the season.
After several loan spells away from Middlesbrough he soon established himself as a regular in the Riverside defence. Impressed many in the Premier League last term and now hoping to lead Boro to Championship promotion.
The former Manchester United talent left Old Trafford for Rotherham United in 2015. He struggled to establish himself in South Yorkshire and after spells on loan at Bradford and Bolton he was released this summer. In September he joined Indian Super League side ATK, managed by former England striker Teddy Sheringham.
Billed as a future Liverpool and England captain the midfielder never quite reached his potential on Merseyside. Joined Huddersfield Town in 2014 before a move to Wolves one year later. Now building a solid career for himself at the Molineux.
The box-to-box midfielder joined Derby County permanently in 2014 after a successful loan spell from West Brom. Popular among the Rams faithful, his career has often been halted due to a string of serious injuries.
A technically gifted midfield operator whose career has never quite took off. Failure to get regular football at Chelsea saw him out on loan several times before a permanent switch to Brentford in 2015. Now a regular at Griffin Park.
The star of this side. The exceptionally gifted Everton man has since gone on to play 22 times for the England senior side, scoring two goals.
His form has dipped recently and his time at Everton is seemingly coming to an end. At an important crossroads in his playing career which he can hopefully navigate successfully. His wasted talent would be a travesty.
The centre-forward has struggled to score goals at a senior level. The former Manchester United striker had time on loan at Wigan, QPR, Sheffield Wednesday and Preston before joining Hull City permanently in 2016. Has also struggled with injuries in his career and is yet to score for the Tigers.
The pacy winger did not make the grade at West Ham before joining Bolton in 2013. Suffered a serious knee injury during his time with the Trotters but is now back in regular action with former loan club Oxford United.
The midfielder/striker worked hard on a career at Middlesbrough but never quite made it. Currently at Scunthorpe United where he is struggling with injury.
This is one player who will not play for England. The 24-year-old made a name for himself on loan at MK Dons from Arsenal in 2014-15. Wolves snapped him up and after scoring 23 times in 48 games he joined Bournemouth in 2016.
Has now pledged his international future to the DR Congo, scoring on debut against Botswana in June.
The former West Brom striker has made the headlines off the pitch rather than on it in recent times. After receiving his first and only England call-up in November 2014 his career has taken a turn.
A transfer tussle with the Baggies eventually saw him join Stoke in January, after serving an eight-week suspension for failing a drugs test.
The 24-year-old has not scored since February 2016 and a senior call-up seems a long way off.
Tipped to be England’s next Alan Shearer the former Ipswich Town starlet joined Sunderland in 2011. He had a mixed career on Wearside, playing a pivotal role in their survival from relegation in 2014.
A move to Crystal Palace was supposed to see him continue his step-up to Premier League regular but a serious knee injury means he has not played a game since November 2016.
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