It has been an incredible year for Everton’s youth players. Led by Jonjoe Kenny, the Under-23 side swept all before them to claim the Premier League 2 title. Barely weeks later, four members of the Toffees future have now had their names go down in England football’s history books after winning the Under-20 World Cup that came to an end today in South Korea.
A Dominic Calvert-Lewin goal on the 35th minute put the Young Lions ahead and though they had to deal with some hairy moments in the second half, the English youth held on against Venezuela, who were making their first appearance in the Finals at this level of competition.
It took a save by goalkeeper Freddie Woodman from a penalty to preserve the lead late in the game as Dowell and Lookman were replaced for fresh legs.
Calvert-Lewin with the opener for England U20s pic.twitter.com/xF0Jlw93wa— Royal Blue Mersey (@RBMersey) June 11, 2017
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Kenny has received plenty of shouts for England’s player of the tournament with his incisive runs from the right sparking the team. Kieran Dowell has played on the right of an attacking midfield, but apart from a few moments of magic, did not wholly impress this tournament.
Ademola Lookman on the other hand sparkled for the English. A constant threat whenever he received the ball, the Everton forward showed off his repertoire of tricks and skills, showing the Blues what they can expect from the player next season. Callum Connolly is the fifth Evertonian in the side, and was on the substitutes bench for the knockout rounds after starting in the centre of defence for the first two games of the tournament.
Ademola Lookman for England U20s today pic.twitter.com/5fvglK6kDX— Everton Blue Army (@EvertonBlueArmy) June 8, 2017
England’s last youth World Cup win was in 1964, just two years before the 1966 senior World Cup triumph. The captain of the ‘64 side was a certain Howard Kendall, so it was indeed fitting that Everton had such a key role to play in this tournament success. In fact, every single goal that England scored in this tournament had an Everton player involved, either scoring or setting it up.
Tottenham Hotspur youngster Josh Onomah was also excellent in the middle of the park for the Young Lions, and Liverpool’s Sheji Oyo sparkled out on the right as well.
Lookman and Calvert-Lewin have been getting games for Ronald Koeman’s senior side already, and on this performance we can expect Kenny’s promotion in Seamus Coleman’s absence to be accelerated.