YOUNG LIONS: What happens next?

After a historic World Cup win, I analyse what is next domestically for the England under 20’s starting XI:


Freddie Woodman (Goalkeeper)

Newcastle United


England manager Gareth Southgate’s godson played a major part in the Young Lions’ World Cup Final win, not least saving a penalty late in the game.

Domestically he has had spells with Hartlepool, Crawley and more recently Kilmarnock where he made 13 appearances, keeping 4 clean sheets and helping his side to 15 league points along the way.

With Newcastle back in the Premier League, it’s unlikely Woodman will get much playing time if any. A loan move to a high League One or even Championship team would be a good next step in the 20 year-olds career.


Jonjoe Kenny (Right-back)


jonjoe kenny

Had a solid game in the final with keeping Venezuela’s golden boy Adalberto Penaranda at bay for long periods.

Two short term periods in League One has set him up for a lengthier spell at a club at that level. This could be a big season in Kenny’s young career.


Fikayo Tomori (Centre-back)



Tomori had an outstanding first half and showed great resilience, managing to waver the storm of opposition attack in the latter embers of the match.

He stood out the most out of the back four, putting his experience from a promotion winning spell at Brighton to the test.

A solid full season on loan at a Championship club may see him progress into the top flight before long.


Jake-Liam Clarke-Salter (Centre-back)


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Also had a very strong game, looked a little shaky towards the end including a very near-own goal but all in all showed his metal when it mattered most.

The Chelsea full-back had a relatively successful tenure at Bristol Rovers last season, playing 12 times and even grabbing a goal.

Despite claiming his senior debut last year for his parent club, Clarke-Slater is one of 37 Chelsea players who were on loan at a lower league club last term and the same situation may arise again. A return to Rovers certainly can’t be ruled out.


Kyle Walker-Peters (Left-back)


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Was really influential at times going forward in the game which has been his omen for the tournament

Positive signs at this tournament could earn him a loan move down the leagues with the full-back depth at current club Tottenham being one of, if not the strongest in the country.


Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Right midfield)


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Will grab the headlines after netting the winning goal and deservedly so, arguably one of the players of the tournament and lots to be positive about for the 20 year-old.

Has gone from strength to strength since making his senior debut for Sheffield United. A short 5-game loan period at Stalybridge Celtic saw him net 6 times before scoring 5 times in 20 games for Northampton.

Everton snapped him up in the summer of 2016 as he made 11 appearances for the Toffees last season, memorably opening his club account in their 4-0 win over Hull in March. Definitely one to watch next season.



Lewis Cook (Central midfield)



The most experienced member of the squad and captain, Cook led by example and rarely put a foot wrong. His passing game needs to be more clinical but his incredibly neat footwork cannot be disputed.

After two incredibly successful seasons with Leeds United, where he won Young Player of the Year for his club twice and for the whole Football League once, Cook earned a move to Bournemouth in 2016, making 6 first team appearances since.

It looks like he’ll be getting a lot more game time in the upcoming season if his time in South Korea is anything to go by.


Josh Onomah (Central Midfield)


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Kept his cool when others showed wobbly legs and, similar to Cook, has impeccably quick feet which is very easy on the eye.

Has had sporadic spells since signing his professional contract with Spurs making 11 appearances in three years. He’ll be either looking to push through but, most likely, look for a loanee club.


Adeloma Lookman (Left Midfield)


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Was very positive going forward and providing a constant threat to opposition defenders in all 7 games, scoring 3 times along the way.

Following an exciting first two years of his career with Charlton where he made 45 first game appearances which included 10 goals, the 19 year-old signed for Everton earlier this year and forced his way into the side playing 8 games including that infamous 4-0 win against Manchester City where the winger fired home on his debut.

This season will be trying to build on his terrific start and aiming to gain more game time for the Toffees.


Kieran Dowell (Attacking Midfielder)


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Another Everton academy product, Dowell hustled and harried the Venezuelan defence all game. Is a long way from the finished product but is definitely on the right path.

Made his debut In the Europa League in December 2014 but has been pushed for playing since. His only start since signing his professional contract was in the final day of the 2014/15 season against Norwich.

Would be fair to say a loan move elsewhere must be top of the priority list if he wants some first team action and his tournament would have done him no harm in trying one find a loanee club.


Dominic Solanke (Forward)

Chelsea, joining Liverpool on 1 July


Probably the highest profile squad player of late after agreeing terms with Liverpool a few weeks earlier, Solanke showed signs of confidence in the final whenever he was on the ball, being unafraid to take on and beat the back line. He also followed in the steps of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Paul Pogba as he claimed the competitions Golden Boot.

His youth career is littered with accolades including the under 17’s European Championship, two FA Youth Cups and, of course, the under 20’s World Cup. Apart from making history by becoming Chelsea’s youngest ever player to feature in the Champions League in 2014 at the age of 17, the striker struggled for first team action, seeing him being loaned out to Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem. During his time over in Holland, he scored 7 times in 25 games before returning to Chelsea again last campaign.

There is no doubt he will get more first team action at Liverpool, although how much is the pending question. However, lots to be positive about for the 19 year-old.


QUESTION: How many of the starting XI will make it into the senior side in the future?




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