What happened to England U17 World Cup winners from 2017?

Phil Foden and Jadon Sancho are Premier League stars but one player is at non-league Lancaster and two don’t have clubs at all! What happened to Steve Cooper’s England team that won the U17 World Cup five years ago TODAY?

  • It’s five years since England beat Spain 5-2 to win the Under-17 World Cup
  • Steve Cooper’s team played some outstanding football en route to glory
  • Phil Foden was voted the tournament’s best player and his trajectory still rises
  • Team also featured Jadon Sancho, Emile Smith Rowe and Conor Gallagher
  • But not every medal winner has been able to go on to success at the top level 

It is five years to the day since England won the Under-17 World Cup in a thrilling final with Spain in Kolkata.

A squad coached by Steve Cooper and boasting many familiar names played some sensational football en route to glory in India.

Never more so than in the pressure of the final itself, when they stormed back from two early goals by Sergio Gomez – now a Manchester City player – to win 5-2 and claim the trophy.

England’s Young Lions were on top of the world in 2017 as they won the Under-17 World Cup

England came from two goals down to defeat Spain 5-2 in the final played in Kolkata, India 

Steve Cooper, now in charge at Nottingham Forest, was the mastermind behind England’s win

That success proved a springboard to top level careers for many of those young tyros – but others haven’t quite achieved the same level of success in the game.

Sportsmail takes a closer look at what happened to England’s young world champions of 2017.

ENGLAND’S STARTING LINE-UP

Curtis Anderson – England goalkeeper in the final was in Manchester City’s academy at the time and memorably saved a penalty before converting his own as the Young Lions beat Japan in a shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals. In 2019, he left City and went Stateside to play for second-tier side Charlotte Independence. He returned to play for Wycombe the following year but ended up out on loan in non-league football at Walton Casuals and Eastbourne Borough. Moved back up to the north-west following his release from Wycombe without making an appearance and is now at Northern Premier League club Lancaster City.

Curtis Anderson celebrates a crucial spot-kick save in the last-16 win over Japan in 2017

George McEachran – The younger brother of Josh was coming up through Chelsea’s academy ranks when he played in midfield for England. He was released by the Stamford Bridge club earlier this year having not made a first-team appearance. His time with them included under-23 action and two loan spells in Holland with Cambuur and Maastricht. He remains a free agent.

George McEachran was in Chelsea’s academy side at the time of England’s win five years ago

Marc Guehi – A familiar name at the heart of the defence that day, Guehi has gone on to represent the senior England team on three occasions, making his debut in the friendly win over Switzerland at Wembley back in March. He too was at Chelsea five years ago, making just a couple of first-team appearances amid loan spells at Swansea City in the Championship. Guehi left Chelsea to sign for Crystal Palace in 2021 in a deal worth £18million and has impressed at Selhurst Park ever since.

Marc Guehi (left) battles with Rodrigo for the ball during Crystal Palace’s game against Leeds

Jonathan Panzo – The defender was yet another member of the Chelsea contingent in the 2017 squad though it was at Monaco where he tried to make his breakthrough into senior football a few months after the World Cup win. That didn’t work out, with Panzo sent out on loan to Belgian club Cercle Brugge before being sold to Dijon. He duly returned to English football and reunited with Cooper by signing for Nottingham Forest back in January. Having barely played in the second half of Forest’s promotion season, Panzo was loaned out to Championship Coventry for this campaign.

Jonathan Panzo (left) is spending the season on loan at Coventry City from Nottingham Forest

Phil Foden – What a success story in the five years since! Foden shot to wider prominence when he was named player of the tournament in 2017, having scored twice in the final against Spain. He has since become a crucial player for the most successful club side in the country, Manchester City, and also increasingly so for Gareth Southgate’s England. Still only 22, Foden has played almost 200 games for City and has 18 England caps, with his name likely to be on the teamsheet at the World Cup in Qatar next month. With four Premier League titles, the FA Cup and four League Cups already on his CV, Foden could well become one of the best-ever players to emerge from these shores.

Phil Foden with England’s winners trophy and the Golden Ball award for best player in 2017

Tashan Oakley-Boothe – A Tottenham academy player at the time of England’s win, Oakley-Boothe had just been integrated into the first-team by Mauricio Pochettino and made his debut a few weeks before the tournament. Unfortunately that EFL Cup appearance against Barnsley would prove to be his one and only Spurs appearance. Turning down a new contract offer in January 2020, he joined Stoke City, where he hasn’t been able to become a regular starter. The midfielder is currently on loan at Lincoln City in League One.

Tashan Oakley-Boothe is spending the season on loan at League One Lincoln from Stoke City

Rhian Brewster – The striker’s eight goals, including the one that sparked England’s comeback in the final, earned him the Golden Boot for top goalscorer. He’d already been in and around the Liverpool first team picture with Jurgen Klopp putting him amongst his substitutes. Brewster was another to link up with Cooper – while on loan at Swansea in 2019-20, he scored 11 times. Having only played a few times for Liverpool, he took a move to Sheffield United in a deal worth £23.5m ahead of the 2020-21 season. But Brewster failed to live up to that price tag, failing to score in 27 Premier League outings as the Blades suffered relegation. His goal returns haven’t been a great deal better in the Championship since either.

Brewster was top scorer at the 2017 World Cup but the goals haven’t flowed at Sheffield United

Callum Hudson-Odoi – A key figure in England’s success with his speed, skill and creativity. Hudson-Odoi was rewarded with a Chelsea first-team debut in an FA Cup tie with Newcastle a couple of months later. He has since featured pretty regularly for the Blues, scoring 16 times in 126 matches, and has three senior England caps. Never quite able to hammer down a regular starting place amid a myriad of attacking options, he signed for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen on loan at the beginning of this season. Scored his first goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League just this week.

Callum Hudson-Odoi opened his account for Bayer Leverkusen against Atletico in midweek

Joel Latibeaudiere – The centre-back was at Man City at the time but didn’t make a senior appearance for the club, spending the 2019-20 season on loan at FC Twente in Holland. He signed for Swansea in October 2020, where he features regularly in the Championship, usually on the right side of midfield. Will hope to inspire Russell Martin’s team back to the Premier League. Switched national team allegiance to Jamaica earlier this year.

Joel Latibeaudiere in action for Swansea during their win over Cardiff in last Sunday’s derby

Steven Sessegnon – The twin brother of Ryan, who shone at Fulham before moving to Tottenham. Steven also came through in Fulham’s well-regarded academy and played five times during the World Cup journey at right-back. Though he remains at Fulham, he has made just 19 appearances for them and has been out on loan at Bristol City, Plymouth Argyle and, at the moment, Charlton Athletic.

Steven Sessegnon (right) on the attack for his loan club Charlton in a game with MK Dons

Morgan Gibbs-White – Cooper was long convinced of the attacking midfielder’s talents and it explains why he signed him for Nottingham Forest after their Premier League promotion in the summer, paying a club record £25m which could potentially rise to £42m with add-ons. That followed a very good loan spell with Sheffield United from parent club Wolves last season in which he chipped in with 12 goals and 10 assists before they lost to Forest in the play-off semi-finals. Played 88 times in for Wolves, the club he came through at and has represented England up to under-21 level.

Morgan Gibbs-White revels in Nottingham Forest’s win over Liverpool last weekend

ENGLAND’S SUBSTITUTES

Timothy Eyoma – The defender came through at Tottenham, playing six times for them. Spent a couple of loan spells at Lincoln City in League One and signed for the Imps permanently last year.

Lewis Gibson – Hadn’t long moved to Everton when he lifted the World Cup. Hasn’t yet been able to make a first-team breakthrough at Goodison Park and has been out on loan at Fleetwood Town, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday and, right now, Bristol Rovers.

Angel Gomes – The one and only Manchester United player in the 2017 squad. Midfielder Gomes was actually England’s captain during the tournament. Made his United debut as a substitute for Wayne Rooney against Crystal Palace in May 2017, becoming at 16 years and 263 days the club’s youngest debutant since Duncan Edwards in 1953. Didn’t live up to that early promise and played only 10 times for the club before turning down a new deal to sign for Lille in 2020. Is now a regular performer for them in Ligue 1.

Angel Gomes left Manchester United in 2020 and now plays for Ligue 1 club Lille 

Jadon Sancho – Another name that jumps out at you from the teamsheet but Sancho had a weird tournament. His new club Borussia Dortmund, whom he’d joined from Man City for £8m, weren’t too pleased about him going off to India mid-season as they wanted to play him in their side. A compromise was made that Sancho would be available for the group phase before being called back. That hardly curbed his progress and the winger was a class act for Dortmund as he scored 50 times in 137 matches. That earned him a £73m move to Man United in 2021 though the jury remains out on him there. Sancho has won 23 England caps and was one of the unfortunate trio along with Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka who missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy.

Jadon Sancho had just started at Dortmund back in 2017 – he is now a £73m winger at United

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Nya Kirby – The Crystal Palace academy midfielder scored the decisive spot-kick to overcome Japan in the last-16 and came off the bench in the final. Made only one appearance for Palace before being released earlier this year. Went out on loan to Blackpool and Tranmere during his time with the Selhurst Park club and is currently a free agent.

Josef Bursik – The keeper was loaned out by Stoke on six occasions during the early part of his career to gain experience but is now getting more regular action for the Potters in the Championship. Has played up to under-21 level for England.

Daniel Loader – The forward was in the ranks at Reading and played 35 times for the Royals before accepting a move to Porto in 2020. Scored regularly for their B team and has been promoted into the first-team squad.

Emile Smith Rowe – Not too much need to elaborate here. Smith Rowe has been an integral part of Mikel Arteta’s renaissance of Arsenal, even if injury issues have ruined the current season. One of the best creative talents in the Premier League on his day, Smith Rowe has been a regular for the Gunners over the past two seasons and has won three England caps. Looks set for a very bright future.

Emile Smith Rowe has become a key figure at Arsenal having featured back in 2017

Conor Gallagher – Another of the players in the 2017 squad to have gone all the way through to the seniors, with Gareth Southgate handed the midfielder four caps with many more surely ahead. Finally looks the part at Chelsea after various loan spells, including an excellent one with Crystal Palace last season that finally convinced the Blues of his qualities.

Billy Crellin – The back-up keeper made one appearance in the 2017 World Cup. Emerged at Fleetwood Town and is now in Everton’s under-23 squad having moved there in January.

THE MANAGER

Steve Cooper – The Welsh coach boosted his own profile with England’s superb triumph in 2017 and he would remain with the under-17s for a further two years before taking the Swansea job. Enlisting some members of his 2017 cohort to help him, Cooper took Swansea to consecutive Championship play-off semi-finals. He then astonishingly lifted Forest from relegation candidates into the Premier League last season, taking the club into the top-flight for the first time in 23 years. Was close to the sack after a poor start to this season but was given a new contract until 2025 in a vote of confidence he could keep them up.

Steve Cooper is trying to ensure Nottingham Forest’s Premier League return isn’t a short one




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