The players in England’s under-17 squad that won the World Cup in 2017 have embarked on a variety of different career paths over the last six years. Some members of the side have moved for huge transfer fees to the world’s biggest clubs, while others have stagnated after failing to deliver on their early promise.
Phil Foden is easily the most successful player to come from the squad, having won every available trophy with Manchester City since breaking into their senior ranks. He is now widely regarded as a world-class operator but the same cannot be said for all of his former England team-mates.
Jadon Sancho was another of the squad’s biggest names and imposed himself as a deadly forward during his time at Borussia Dortmund, earning a big-money move to Manchester United in the process. However, the 23-year-old has failed to impress at Old Trafford and now finds himself in exile after a bitter row with Erik ten Hag earlier this season.
A handful of other players have gone on to achieve big things, with Marc Guehi now a regular England senior international after honing his skills at Chelsea and Crystal Palace. Morgan Gibbs-White also plays in the Premier League for Nottingham Forest, while Conor Gallagher and Emile Smith Rowe have proven themselves as valuable assets to Chelsea and Arsenal respectively.
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Callum Hudson-Odoi looked set to follow a similar path until his development stunted at Stamford Bridge, leading to him being loaned to Bayer Leverkusen in a bid to regain his form. He now plays alongside Gibbs-White at Forest but has only started three league games for Steve Cooper’s side this season.
Rhian Brewster, meanwhile, was hotly tipped as England’s future star striker but has struggled to live up to his billing over the last few years. He currently finds himself at Sheffield United, who he joined from Liverpool to the tune of £23million back in 2020.
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Many players have gone on to lead decent careers outside of England’s top flight, with Angel Gomes plying his trade at Lille and Danny Loader now on Porto’s books. Others have established themselves as solid players for various clubs in the EFL, with the likes of Joel Latibeaudiere, Jonathan Panzo, Josef Burzik, Lewis Gibson and TJ Eyoma all impressing at lower levels.
However, some players have tumbled down the leagues after falling through the cracks in the cut-throat world of professional football. Curtis Anderson, for example, had various spells at non-league clubs before retiring at the age of 22 to begin a new career as a financial advisor.
Others, including the likes of Nya Kirby and George McEachran, were unable to make the grade in the professional ranks and are currently free agents. Meanwhile, players such as Steven Sessegnon and Tashan Oakley-Boothe remain on the books of EFL clubs but have struggled for minutes and are now unlikely to fulfil the promise they once showed.
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