Owen and Southgate are both former England internationals.

Michael Owen compares England's new wave of youngsters to his generation

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With qualification for next summer's World Cup assured, England used the recent international break to begin testing themselves against the world's very best teams.

Germany and Brazil will be among the favourites to go all the way in Russia, yet both of them were held to 0-0 draws by the Three Lions on Friday and Tuesday respectively.

The biggest talking point to come out of those friendlies was the amount of young talent that Gareth Southgate introduced to his squad - and how well they all performed.


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The absences of Jordan Henderson, Adam Lallana, Dele Alli, Raheem Sterling, Harry Kane and more paved the way for Southgate to hand out some surprise England debuts.

Michael Owen knows a thing or two about bursting onto the international scene, and now he's had his say on the latest crop of England youngsters breaking into the senior side.

English youth breaking through at senior level

Joe Gomez, Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham all featured for England over the past week, with Tottenham's 23-year-old Eric Dier captaining Southgate's men.

Loftus-Cheek impressed many people against Germany, while Liverpool's Gomez picked up the Man of the Match award for his performance in the draw with Brazil.

England v Germany - International Friendly

There have been plenty of positives, however Owen's latest comments are sure to bring those young players back down to earth and ensure that fans don't get too carried away.

Owen on England's young players

England's fifth all-time leading scorer doesn't think that the new wave of young talent are on the same level as the generation he was a part of.

"We've obviously got a lot of good players, just look at our players coming through as well," Owen told Omnisport, via Goal.

"We seem to be winning every youth tournament that's been put on at the moment, which is brilliant. I don't think anyone's ever questioned the capability or the qualities of our teams.


"Some of our players, going back to my generation, were winning Champions Leagues and all kinds of big trophies."

The 37-year-old continued: "They were some of the best players in the world. Is this generation better? I would probably say not.

"I think (back to) the likes of (Paul) Scholes, (Steven) Gerrard, (Wayne) Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, (David) Beckham, myself.

(From L) England's midfielders Steven Ge

"I don't think this generation has got as many as those types of players. However, I think they've still got players capable of going far in a competition, certainly much further.

"As I say, the quality of player would be the least of my worries, it would be the mentality going into a tournament and looking as if we can play as well in a competition as we do in qualification – we seem unbeatable in that.

"We shall see. I think the question mark all around England is there because we've all been really disappointed with the last couple of competitions."

England v Iceland - Round of 16: UEFA Euro 2016

Owen makes a lot of very good points, but surely the former striker should give the current youngsters more time to develop before comparing them to some of the stars of England's infamous 'Golden Generation'.

What do YOU make of Owen's comments on England's current youngsters? Do YOU agree with him? Leave YOUR opinion in the comments box below!

Michael Owen
Wayne Rooney
Frank Lampard
England Football
Premier League
Gareth Southgate

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