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2017 England U17 World Cup Team: Where are they now?

[Credit: Buda Mendes]

In 2017, the Three Lions’ young generation dismantled Spain 5-2 despite being 2-0 down in the opening 31 minutes of the final. Steve Cooper, who is now the Nottingham Forest manager and led the England U17s to their maiden title, was blessed with a significant amount of talent to go all the way and win the competition deservedly.

Some have since gone on to make a name for themselves abroad, while others are competing amongst each other on home soil.

It was a massive moment for English football history. But where are Steve Cooper’s crop of U17 winners now?

The Final XI

Goalkeeper: Curtis Anderson

  • Club at the time: Manchester City
  • Current situation: Working full time as a financial adviser Markland Hill Wealth in Lancaster.

Curtis Anderson played a huge role in England’s tournament run. He saved a penalty before converting his own during the Young Lions’ victory over Japan in a penalty shoot-out to reach the quarter-finals. After the World Cup, Anderson played for various age-group teams at Manchester City. In 2019, he left Manchester City for more game time and joined second-tier North American side Charlotte Independence. However, his time at Charlotte Independence didn’t go as he had hoped, and he has since represented Wycombe Wanderers, Walton Casuals, Eastbourne Borough, Lancaster City, Bootle and Kendal. Anderson has recently stopped playing football and now works as a financial adviser for Markland Hill Wealth in Lancaster.

Right-back: Steven Sessegnon

  • Club at the time: Fulham
  • Current club: Wigan Athletic

The twin brother of Tottenham Hotspur full-back Ryan Sessegnon, Steven was involved in five matches, including the final where he provided two assists in England’s final win against Spain. Steven came through the Fulham youth academy, signing professional terms in 2017 and making his debut at the age of 17. He found playing time hard to come by at Fulham, so he spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Charlton Athletic before securing a permanent move to League One side Wigan Athletic.

Centre back: Joel Latibeaudiere

  • Club at the time: Manchester City
  • Current club: Coventry City

The former Manchester City youth player captained England U17s to tournament success in 2017, playing every minute of England’s victorious run. The 23-year-old’s first taste of first-team football was when he was on loan at Eredivisie side FC Twente in the 2019-20 season, but his loan spell didn’t convince Pep Guardiola, and he left to link up with Steve Cooper, who was in charge of Swansea City in 2020. Latibeaudiere spent three years at the Welsh Club before signing for Coventry City this summer. He has also switched international allegiance to represent Jamaica and has made ten appearances to date.

Centre-back: Marc Guehi

  • Club at the time: Chelsea
  • Current club: Crystal Palace

Marc Guehi also played every minute of the competition and scored England’s fourth goal in the final. After graduating from Chelsea’s youth system, Marc Guehi signed professional terms with the Blues in 2019. He made his senior debut for Chelsea against Grimsby Town in a League Cup match in September 2019. Guehi joined Crystal Palace ahead of the 2021-22 Premier League campaign, signing a five-year deal, which was Palace’s third-highest transfer signing. He has quickly formed a formidable centre-back partnership alongside Joachim Andersen and became Crystal Palace’s vice-captain. Guehi received his first senior England call-up in March 2022 and debuted in England’s 2-1 friendly win against Switzerland at Wembley Stadium.

Left-back: Jonathan Panzo

  • Club at the time: Monaco
  • Current club: Cardiff City (on loan from Nottingham Forest)

The former Chelsea defender, who can also play left-back, started the final and was a rock at the back throughout England’s memorable campaign. Jonathan Panzo signed for Monaco in 2018 and enjoyed a positive loan spell at Belgian side Cercle Brugge in the 2019-20 season before signing for French side Dijon permanently. He then signed for Nottingham Forest, where he reunited with Steve Cooper. However, he only appeared once for Nottingham Forest, so he spent the 2022-23 season on loan at Coventry City, and this season he is at another loan spell at Cardiff City.

Central midfield: Tashan Oakley-Boothe

  • Club at the time: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Current club: Blackpool

Tashan Oakley-Boothe played six matches for England at the U17 World Cup and was one of the key cogs in England’s tournament success. At club level, he struggled for game time at Tottenham Hotspur, eventually leaving for Stoke City. After a promising start to life at Stoke City, the midfielder struggled for game time due to a back injury that halted his development. He has since represented Lincoln City on loan for the 2022-23 season before signing permanently for Blackpool after a successful trial.

Central midfield: George McEachran

  • Club at the time: Chelsea
  • Current club: Swindon Town

George McEachran, the younger brother of Josh McEachran, lasted 87 minutes in the final. After winning the U17 World Cup with England, he went on to win further silverware for Chelsea at youth level that season (2017-18 season). George McEachran spent some time on loan at Cambuur and MVV Maastricht in 2020. He had no club for almost three years before signing for Swindon Town this year.

Right-wing: Phil Foden

  • Club at the time: Manchester City
  • Current club: Manchester City

The Manchester City youngster was the player of the tournament at the U17 World Cup, and he also scored a brace in the final. Since then, he has lived up to high expectations, and there is even more growth to come from the highly-rated, talented playmaker. He has since won 5 Premier League titles, 2 FA Cups, 4 Carabao Cups, and a Champions League for his club. He is also an integral part of Gareth Southgate’s star-studded England side, as he has participated in two major tournaments for the Three Lions.

Central attacking midfielder: Morgan Gibbs-White

  • Club at the time: Wolves
  • Current club: Nottingham Forest

Morgan Gibbs-White played a massive part in England’s final win against Spain as he got on the scoresheet in the 58th minute to draw England level, making it 2-2 at the time. The Wolves academy graduate made his Premier League debut during the 2018-19 season and was highly rated as one of the most considerable talents in Europe at the time. He then found playing time hard to come by at Wolves and was eventually sent out on loan to Swansea City before Nottingham Forest secured his

services for £50 million in the summer of 2022.

Left-wing: Callum Hudson-Odoi

  • Club at the time: Chelsea
  • Current club: Nottingham Forest

Callum Hudson-Odoi was one of the few players from the England U17 World Cup squad who had gained Premier League experience going into the tournament. Hudson-Odoi’s development at the time saw him linked to a move to Bayern Munich, but Chelsea had no intention of selling their prized asset. The winger didn’t entirely take the final step in his development, and he found himself on loan at Bayer Leverkusen last season before sealing a move to Nottingham Forest to reunite with Steve Cooper.

Striker: Rhian Brewster

  • Club at the time: Liverpool
  • Current club: Sheffield United

Rhian Brewster scored eight goals in six matches, including a goal in the final, as he won the Golden Boot award at the U17 World Cup. During his loan spell at Swansea City from January 2020, he netted 11 goals in 22 appearances and formed a partnership with Andre Ayew for the Welsh Club. Having only played a few times for Liverpool, he left to join Sheffield United in the summer of 2020 in a deal worth £23.5 million. Brewster’s move to Sheffield didn’t meet expectations as the Blades suffered relegation. Sheffield United have since gained promotion back to the Premier League and Brewster has only made a handful of Premier League appearances this season so far.

The Rest:

Jadon Sancho

  • Club at the time: Borussia Dortmund
  • Current club: Manchester United

Jadon Sancho was one of the tournament’s main attractions but was only allowed to play until the round of 16 when Borussia Dortmund called him back for club duties. He established himself as one of the most exciting prospects in European football, which made Manchester United spend £72 million on him in the summer of 2021. However, his Manchester United career hasn’t entirely gone to plan as he would have hoped due to him currently being frozen out of the Manchester United team, and a January move for Jadon Sancho is more likely to kick-start his career.

Angel Gomes

  • Club at the time: Manchester United
  • Current club: Lille

Angel Gomes came into the limelight when he debuted for Manchester United during the 2016-17 season against Crystal Palace. He became the youngest debutant (16 years and 263 days) to represent Manchester United since Duncan Edwards in 1953. The attacking midfielder left Manchester United in search of regular football. He signed for Lille at the beginning of the 2020-21 season before going out on loan to Portuguese side Boavista. Since his loan spell in Portugal, he has made 83 appearances for Lille in all competitions, scoring six goals and adding ten assists. Angel Gomes was part of the England U21 squad that recently won the UEFA U21 European Championships in Georgia and Romania this year.

Emile Smith Rowe

  • Club at the time: Arsenal
  • Current club: Arsenal

Smith Rowe made three appearances at the U17 World Cup in India, and the Arsenal playmaker gained a few matches of first-team football under Arsenal’s manager at the time, Unai Emery. Then his development accelerated under current Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta as he played a massive role in Arsenal’s top-four hopes in the 2021-22 season. Since then, his career development has been halted by niggling injuries, and he is hoping to shake off these injuries to kick-start his career. He has made three appearances for the England senior national team, and he was also part of the England U21 winning team that won the UEFA U21 European Championships this year.

Conor Gallagher

  • Club at the time: Chelsea
  • Current club: Chelsea

A Chelsea youth academy graduate, Conor Gallagher signed a three-year deal at Chelsea in August 2019. He was loaned to various teams, such as Charlton Athletic, Swansea City, West Brom, and Crystal Palace. These loan spells have improved his development so much that now he is one of Mauricio Pochettino’s important squad players for Chelsea. He has already made a handful of appearances for England at senior level.

Timothy Eyoma

  • Club at the time: Tottenham Hotspur
  • Current club: Lincoln City

The right-back made three appearances for Steve Cooper’s side at the U17 World Cup. He made his debut for Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup match against Tranmere Rovers in 2019, but since then, he left Tottenham to sign for Lincoln City after a successful loan spell for the Imps during the 2020-21 season.

Lewis Gibson

  • Club at the time: Everton
  • Current club: Plymouth Argyle

Everton academy graduate Lewis Gibson signed professional terms with the Toffees in 2019. He then struggled to gain first-team minutes and has had loan spells at Fleetwood Town, Reading, Sheffield Wednesday, and Bristol Rovers before signing permanently for Championship side Plymouth Argyle.

Danny Loader

  • Club at the time: Reading
  • Current club: Porto

The attacker appeared twice at the World Cup against Iraq and the USA. After graduating from Reading’s youth academy, he played for the club’s U23 side in the Premier League 2 Division 2 from 2017 – 2020. In 2020, he joined Portuguese giants Porto and played for the club’s reserves in the second division. He has since gone on to make 44 appearances, scoring eight goals.

Nya Kirby

  • Club at the time: Crystal Palace
  • Current club: Oxford City

The midfielder appeared six times at the World Cup, although he only started one game at the tournament. Nya Kirby has had loan spells at Blackpool and Tranmere Rovers before signing for Oxford City permanently.

Josef Bursik

  • Club at the time: Stoke City
  • Current club: Club Brugge

The goalkeeper was loaned out six times during the early part of his career to gain some experience. He then signed for Belgian side Club Brugge this January for an undisclosed fee.

William Crellin

  • Club at the time: Fleetwood Town
  • Current club: Everton

The youngster made just one appearance at the World Cup due to Steve Cooper’s immense faith in Curtis Anderson. He enjoyed loan spells at United of Manchester, Chorley, and Bolton Wanderers before Everton secured his services in January 2022.

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