England’s Under-21 side mauled their Scottish counterparts 6-0 last night. Six different players on the scoresheet and some exceptional performances show England has some young players with bright futures.
Norwich recently signed the man of the match, winger Nathan Redmond and the Canaries certainly look to have quite a player on their hands. The youngster found the back of the net within minutes of kick off.
Jonjo Shelvey fired an inch perfect long ball from the halfway line to the feet of the flying Redmond who coolly slotted the ball into the back of Jordan Archer’s net. It was the perfect start for the player and he spent the next 65 minutes tormenting the Scottish defence. Redmond added a couple of assists to cap his perfect display including a very clever cut back and pass to Harry Kane’s feet for the final goal.
Raheem Sterling pushed Redmond all the way for the man of the match award and despite missing out the Liverpool starlet put in a display any full international would have been proud of.
A crisp finish gave England breathing space after 39 minutes, after some nifty passing the winger slotted it home.
Sterling shows composure well beyond his age, his ability to always be available for a pass is something not often seen such a young player and his end product is normally something special.
Often with the super quick wingers the final ball can be a bit dodgy but their pace carries them through their career (see Shaun Wright-Phillips), that is certainly not the case with Sterling.
He keeps his head up and normally finds his man or works the keeper and at only 18 the youngster still has plenty of time to improve even further. It is quite scary to think how good this kid could be in five or six years time.
It’s not just on the wings the U21’s are full of quality, the central midfielders were pretty special too.
Shelvey was spraying 40 yard precision passes for the whole time he was on the pitch and also managed to find the net, a 25 yard curler was the pick of the bunch and the sort of performance he put in tonight begs the question why have Liverpool sold him in the first place.
With plenty of game time at Swansea and playing attractive attacking football Shelvey should flourish and a few more performances like tonights and Brendan Rodgers might be thinking he made a serious mistake.
Another stand out performer was Derby midfielder Will Hughes. The 18-year-old demonstrated great positional awareness and a top quality range of passes so it looks unlikely Derby will hang onto him for much longer.
He is a key figure for Nigel Clough’s Derby side and will be missed when the inevitable happens and a big club comes sniffing around but with regular and impressive appearances for England U21s the club will certainly be able to command a hefty fee. Norwich just splashed £3 million on Redmond so a similar figure will be expected.
Despite the brilliant display from England it wasn’t all good news. Chelsea’s Nathaniel Chalobah was stretchered off during the first half after Scotland’s Tony Watt caught his knee with a late challenge.
It still unclear how serious the injury is, but, the signs don’t look good. Chalobah starred for Watford last season in their fight to get into the Premier League and seems to of secured himself a spot in Mourinho’s squad for the coming season.
The Chelsea fans will be hoping its nothing too serious and Chalobah will be back to fitness sooner rather than later.
Sunderland’s Connor Wickham, Everton’s Ross Barkley and Tottenham’s Harry Kane also found the back of the net and each put in good displays. The team has now won seven of their last eight friendlies and despite not playing one of Europe’s elite in that time the future definitely looks bright for England if these young players can push on and show similar form for the first team.
Roy Hodgson took charge of the game and he will undoubtedly be hoping his first team will be able to put in a similar performance against Gordon Strachan's Scotland side tomorrow night.
Injuries and other issues have led to some fairly irregular call ups and several players look set to get a chance to impress the England boss. Everton’s Luke Garbutt and Southampton’s Rickie Lambert are in line for their first caps and will clearly be hoping to try and nail a spot in next summer’s World Cup.
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