Paul Simpson guided England’s Young Lions to victory at the Under-20 World Cup on Sunday. To say it was unexpected would be an understatement. For England, it’s the first World Cup trophy the country has lifted at any level since 1966.
The Three Lions defeated Venezuela in a close contest which was decided by a single goal from Everton’s Dominic Calvert-Lewin. But very little is known about the starts of tomorrow.
So we’ve taken a look at the players who will go down in history and those who are already part of the Three Lions’ new ‘Golden Generation’.
Freddie Woodman (Newcastle)
The 20-year-old is yet to make an appearance for Newcastle but earned his place in the England squad after impressing while on loan at Kilmarnock.
He is is unlikely to get a chance next season at St James’ Park, however, with Rafael Benitez intent on signing a new no.1. Another loan spell beckons.
Dean Henderson (Manchester United)
The 20-year-old Manchester United keeper is yet to make a first-team appearance for Jose Mourinho’s men but spent time on loan at Grimsby Town last season.
He was second-choice to Woodman but did start against Guinea. It didn’t go to plan though as he went on to concede a freak own goal.
Henderson is likely to be loaned out against next with first-team minutes being key to his development.
Jonjoe Kenny (Everton)
Kenny played every minute of England’s campaign and registered two assists.
Ronald Koeman has options at right-back. He could keep Kenny as understudy to the returning Coleman or loan him out and use Mason Holgate slightly out of position.
Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea)
Tomori spent the second half of last season on loan at Brighton and Hove Albion and could return to the Amex Stadium for their first ever Premier League campaign.
During the World Cup, the 19-year-old Canadian-born defender scored the bizarre long-range own goal early into the tournament, however, he didn’t let it have a negative impact on his performances.
The Chelsea youngster was part of the backline that kept three clean sheets in their next five matches, including a shut-out in the final.
Callum Connolly (Everton)
Another Everton player, Connolly featured in the opening two matches of the tournament but then found himself on the bench.
Like Kenny, Koeman could keep Connolly around at Goodison next season as backup to Leighton Baines. Alternatively, the Dutch manager could loan the 19-year-old scouser out.
Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea)
Fortunately for the 19-year-old, Woodman came to the rescue. The defender, who spent the season on loan at Bristol Rovers, played four times in the tournament and largely looked assured.
He’s likely to join the long list of Chelsea players out on loan next season but the Blues have high hopes for Clarke-Salter and believe he can follow in the footsteps of John Terry at Stamford Bridge.
Lewis Cook (Bournemouth)
The Bournemouth player was one of the standout performers for England in Korea.
The Three Lions captain featured in six of his side’s seven games, scoring one goal and grabbing two assists.
With no Jack Wilshere in the squad next season and having had a year to adapt to the top flight, not to mention overcoming an ankle injury, Eddie Howe should expose the 20-year-old midfielder to more first-team football..
Cook, who started his career at Leeds United, clearly has the ability to compete in the Premier League. He just needs to be given the opportunity.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles (Arsenal)
The 19-year-old Arsenal midfielder featured in all of England’s games and claimed one assist against Guinea.
He’s made two appearances for the Gunners and was in and around the first-team squad for much of the 2016/17 campaign.
But Maitland-Niles needs to be playing regularly in order to develop and that may require a loan move away from the Emirates next season.
Dominic Calvert-Lewin (Everton)
The match winner in the final. The Everton winger, who made 11 appearances for the Toffees last season, was one of the star players throughout the tournament.
He scored the opening goal of the World Cup for the Three Lions and it was fitting that he netted the final one too.
Koeman will no doubt give the 20-year-old even more experience in the first-team next season.
Kieran Dowell (Everton)
The 19-year-old Everton player scored once and assisted a further two during the World Cup.
Dowell is highly rated by Everton and has already played for the first-team.
And while Koeman is a coach willing to give younger players a chance, with several established Premier League midfielders in front of him, coupled with the emergence of Tom Davies, a loan move away from Goodison Park may serve Dowell best next term.
Josh Onomah (Tottenham)
Onomah surprised many with his performances for England. The 20-year-old has been criticised by some Tottenham fans this season, having been inconsistent in the 13 appearances he made.
However, he impressed for the Young Lions and had his 30-yard effort in the final, which hit the bar, gone in then it would have topped off a memorable World Cup campaign.
Mauricio Pochettino could well find a use for the midfielder in his squad next season.
Adam Armstrong (Newcastle)
Newcastle’s versatile forward Armstrong did a good job for Paul Simpson’s team in Korea.
He scored once in his four appearances and was involved in the squad after putting his loan spell with Barnsley to good use.
With attacking reinforcements on the way for Benitez, Armstrong’s options in black and white will be limited next season. Another loan spell away from St James’ Park awaits.
Dominic Solanke (Liverpool)
Solanke’s performances resulted in the striker being named the Player of the Tournament award – an honour which has previously been won by the likes of Sergio Aguero, Leo Messi and Paul Pogba.
Solanke scored four goals and looked sharp leading the line for the Young Lions.
The 19-year-old recently completed a move from Chelsea to Liverpool in search of first-team football. Off the back of his performances for England, he may have a chance at Anfield.
Question marks still hang over the head of Daniel Sturridge while Divock Origi has been linked with moves away.
There may just be a spot opening up for Solanke at Anfield.
Ademola Lookman (Everton)
Lookman announced himself to the world with a debut goal for Everton against Manchester City back in January. And he looked a class above his teammates at times throughout the competition.
The former Charlton Athletic youngster, who Everton bought for a fee that could rise to £11million, linked well with fellow Everton player Calvert-Lewin and new Merseyside neighbour Solanke.
He scored both goals against Costa Rica as well as finding the back of the net against Italy. Koeman would be wise to make this exciting talent of one his important squad players next season.
Sheyi Ojo (Liverpool)
The 19-year-old came off the bench to set up Lookman’s goal in the victory over Italy and was a real handful whenever he was on the pitch.
Despite being highly-rated the Liverpool player didn’t make an impact under Jurgen Klopp last season.
A loan spell away from Anfield beckons next term if Ojo’s development is to continue.
Ovie Ejaria (Liverpool)
The Liverpool midfielder made waves in his eight appearances for the first-team last season and his place in the squad was warranted.
The 19-year-old started once and made another three appearances off of the bench during the run to the final.
Liverpool have been linked with a number of midfielders recently and Ejaria may have to continue his development elsewhere during the 2017/18 campaign.
Harry Chapman (Middlesbrough)
Chapman spent time on loan in promotion campaigns with Barnsley and Sheffield United in 2016 and 2017.
He played only 15 minutes for the Young Lions in Korea
With Boro now back in the Championship, however, next season may be the time for Chapman to make his mark with the club.
Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham)
Do Spurs need Kyle Walker when they have Kyle Walker-Peters waiting in the wings?
The versatile full-back was a key member of Simpson’s side and may well have earned himself a place in Pochettino’s thoughts ahead of the 2017/18 campaign.
The 20-year-old can play a number of roles and could save the club millions in the transfer market if he is able to make the step up.
Dael Fry (Middlesbrough)
Fry spent time out on loan at Rotherham last season but could get more of a look in at the Riverside this season under new manager Garry Monk.
The 19-year-old centre-back started three games in this tournament in which England conceded just one goal.
Could he turn out to be the long-term successor to Ben Gibson?
Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic)
He played 39 times for the Addicks last season and, alongside Lookman, was one of the young stars to watch.
Unlike his former teammate he’s still with the London club but the academy graduate will no doubt be linked with a move elsewhere in the coming year after impressing in League One last term.
The 19-year-old centre-back signed a new three-year contract at Charlton in March.