England have reached another major tournament semi-final. This time the national teams’ U19s have reached the last four of the European Championships in Georgia where they will play Czech Republic on Wednesday.
Keith Downing’s side have a perfect record in the tournament so far, putting in impressive performances to beat Bulgaria and the Netherlands before thrashing Germany 4-1 on Sunday to book their place in the latter stages.
And we’ve picked out five of the standout players so far….
Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)
The 17-year-old has come to prominence after a brilliant breakthrough season for Fulham in the Championship. He shone at both left-back and left-wing for the Whites last term, scoring seven goals in 30 appearances.
Those performances attracted of interest of a number of Premier League clubs, including Tottenham and Liverpool, but Fulham kept hold of their man, tying him to his first professional contract – a new three-year deal which keeps him at Craven Cottage until June 2020.
With his future settled, Sessegnon has been fully focused on England duty and he has been an influential member of the squad, scoring in both the wins over Bulgaria and Germany.
He has three goals to his name in the Young Lions’ run to the semi-finals.
Ben Brereton (Nottingham Forest)
Brereton is another who committed his long-term future just before this summer’s tournament, signing a new deal to stay at Nottingham Forest until 2021.
The 18-year-old forward emerged at The City Ground last season, scoring three times including the winner against Aston Villa in February, having only come into the first team at the turn of the year.
Before that the striker put in a number of impressive displays for Forest’s U23 side, scoring 15 times in 20 games which led to him being linked with a move to Liverpool.
Brereton also has three goals in the tournament, scoring the winner against Netherlands and a double in his side’s 4-1 thrashing of Germany.
Jay Dasilva (Chelsea)
The left-back signed for Chelsea in from Luton in 2012 as an U13 and was quickly fast-tracked into the Blues’ youth team as a 15-year-old.
He has been a key figure in Chelsea’s all-conquering youth side ever since, winning three FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth League titles.
The 19-year-old signed his first professional contract at Stamford Bridge in July 2015 and was described as former Arsenal striker Ian Wright as “a better player than any current Premier League left-back” following his performance for the Chelsea U19 team that beat Shakhtar Donetsk in the UEFA Youth League final in 2015.
Dasilva, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Charlton in League One, is the captain of Downing’s side and has played every minute of the tournament so far in a defence that has conceded just on goal.
Mason Mount (Chelsea)
Another member of Chelsea’s successful academy, helping them win the UEFA Youth League and the FA Youth Cup during the 2015/16 season.
The midfielder has worked his way through the ranks at Stamford and he captained the Blues to yet another FA Youth Cup success last season.
Highly-rated at Chelsea, the 18-year-old, who has been linked with a loan move to Vitesse Arnhem this summer, signed a new contract that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2021.
At the U19 Euros, Mount impressed in the 4-1 win over Germany last time out, claiming three assists. He also scored in the 2-0 win over Bulgaria.
Aaron Ramsdale (Bournemouth)
Ramsdale hit the headlines in January, joining Bournemouth from Sheffield United on deadline day for a fee believed to be in the region of £1m.
The 18-year-old made two FA Cup appearances for the Blades but is yet to make a league appearance as a professional, but that did not stop Eddie Howe from taking him to the Vitality Stadium.
Howe said: “Aaron is a talented young goalkeeper – one of the most talented young goalkeepers in the country.
“He is a good size and a good kicker, as well as being really good with his feet and a good shot-stopper. He has a very bright future. He will need some physical development in the next few months and years but he has all the attributes.”
Ramsdale has made a number of key saves for England’s U19s, helping them to two cleans sheets on their run to the last four.Soccer Accumulator Bonus
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