Back in May 2010, England Under-17s managed to win a European Championship.
It was the first England team since 1993’s squad, which contained the likes of Sol Campbell, Paul Scholes and Robbie Fowler to win the competition.
What made this victory even more impressive was that it came against the all-conquering Spanish juggernauts. Most of that squad has stayed together and have travelled to Turkey for the U20 World Championship which begun on the 21 of June.
With England’s weakness tending to be in midfield where they lack the players capable of holding onto the ball, I take a look at three midfielders who will hope to aid Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere in remedying that situation over the coming years.
The captain of both the victorious U17 squad and the U20 team, Liverpool’s youngster has been tipped for a bright future in the game and has even been compared to team mate and Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard.
Just like Gerrard, his preferred role is as a box-to-box midfielder, but standing at 6’1 and with a muscular frame, he is also equally adept at playing both as a centre back and a defensive midfielder. Comfortable in possession and tough in the tackle make him the ideal player to set up counter attacks.
His leadership qualities and talent on the ball have even led to some tipping him to be the future captain of Liverpool.
Another member of the triumphant U17 squad, shortly after making his debut for Everton back in 2011, Martin Keown predicted that Ross will be one of the best players we'll ever see in this country. The 19-year-old has already played 34 professional games so far and managed four goals in a loan spell last season at Sheffield United.
At 6’2 he is a physically imposing footballer, combine that with his impressive technique and surprising burst of pace and you’ve got a midfielder who could go all the way to the top. In fact it was reported back in 2011 when Andre Villas Boas was in charge of Chelsea, he sanctioned a £20 million pound bid for the Everton youngster.
What English youngsters often lack these days is composure on the ball, but Barkley possesses this in abundance and with his awareness on the football pitch he should feature much more prominently under Roberto Martinez next season.
Ward-Prowse is a highly rated young midfielder who has risen up through the now famed youth system at Southampton and played in the club’s first game back in the Premier League against the then Champions Manchester City. That day, the youngster displayed incredible nerves and composure to compete against world stars like Yaya Toure and David Silva despite being just 17 at the time.
Ward-Prowse’s stature is more that of a Spanish midfielder rather than that of your typical English midfielder, as he is only 5’8. However, what he lacks in height, he more than makes up for with his ability on the ball, with his passing and technique his best attributes. This season with the Saints he made 19 appearances in total and showed that he was more than capable of holding his own in the Premier League and he was a valued member of a Southampton team that liked to play attractive, passing football.
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