With the impact some youngsters had last season, and with the below-par showing of England at international level this summer, we take a look at whether clubs should increase opportunities for their young talents.

After going out at the quarter-finals of the 2012 European Championships, as we all finishing bottom of their group in the recent under-21 European Championships and the under-20 World Cup, plus a failure to get past the Elite qualification round for the under-19 European Championships, the England national team is struggling at every level.

As a result though, it may benefit the next generation of England stars as they could find themselves in and around the first team squad at their respective clubs this season. 

Such is the hysteria behind the national team, clubs must be seen to be giving their youngsters the chance to make the grade rather than buying new talent in.

Southampton, amongst others, are a very good example of exactly this. 

In 2012/13 they gave first team opportunities to James Ward-Prowse and Luke Shaw in the Premier League, as well as giving a host of youngsters including Calum Chambers a chance in the Capital One Cup.

This has allowed them to progress and gain the exposure they need to improve. Ward-Prowse went on to represent England at under-20 level this summer, playing in all three games at the under-20 World Cup.

Shaw, who recently committed himself to the club and signed a five-year deal on his 18th birthday was an integral member of the Southampton team last season and made the left-back slot his own following his Premier League debut at West Bromwich Albion in November 2012.

Shaw went on to make 25 appearances in the league and was rewarded with a call-up to the England Under-21 squad for the European Championships, only to be forced to withdraw through injury.

It would be worth other clubs following the example set at Southampton and others, especially if we are to see the England national team challenge on a regular basis in the near future. 

These young players need the exposure and maturity that mixing with the first team squad on a regular basis can bring.


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