Ranking which of England’s U-20 world champions could break through next season
After their success in South Korea, these youngsters will be targeting regular football in the Premier League...
Solanke followed in the footsteps of Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero by being named the best player at the U-20 World Cup.
With a move to Liverpool already confirmed this summer, the striker looks set for a big breakthrough.
But winning the Golden Ball doesn’t necessarily promise success and stardom.
For every Paul Pogba and Javier Saviola, the award has gone to Ismail Matar and a Dominic Adiyiah.
Solanke has the attributes needed to be a success in the Premier League – pace, power and an ability to find the net.
He showed that throughout this tournament.
He’ll surely be little more than a bit-part player this season, though.
Assuming Liverpool don’t sell Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge or Divock Origi, he will be fourth in the pecking order at best.
Breakthrough chance: 4/10
If Spurs lose Kyle Walker this season they have a read-made replacement in their squad, and not just in name.
Like the England international – who appears to be on his way to Manchester City – Walker-Peters is an athletic right-back who has also played on the left for the club’s youth teams.
He’ll enter Tottenham’s pre-season campaign with some momentum, having started the last four games of the U-20 World Cup after being left out of the opening two.
Full-backs are more important than ever in the Premier League, and Mauricio Pochettino relies upon them heavily to provide width in his system.
If Walker does leave this summer, then Walker-Peters should have the ability – and the opportunity – for first-team minutes under the Argentine.
Breakthrough chance: 6/10
Pochettino’s willingness to field young players also bodes well for Onomah.
The 20-year-old winger made five first-team Premier League appearances last season, but tallied just 18 minutes as he was exclusively used as a late substitute.
He could enjoy more opportunities in the upcoming campaign, however, as he possess attributes that few others in the Spurs squad can offer.
At their temporary Wembley home, they will need pace to stretch the big pitch.
What might hold Onomah back, however, is the fact that Spurs will likely be challenging for the title.
They can’t afford to give opportunities to players who aren’t quite ready, so a loan move elsewhere is likely if the youngster fails to prove himself.
Breakthrough chance: 5/10
Ojo was tipped by many – including our own Tom Clee – to burst into Liverpool’s first-team last season.
The 19-year-old then suffered a fractured back before the campaign had even started and didn’t return to training in November, ultimately making just two FA Cup appearances against Plymouth.
With two assists for England in the semi-finals, though, Ojo showed what he can bring to Jurgen Klopp’s side next season.
He’s capable of delivering decent crosses with his right foot and is absolutely rapid.
Klopp is in the market for a nippy winger this summer.
In Ojo, he might already have exactly what he needs.
Breakthrough chance: 7/10
Ronald Koeman showed in his first season at Everton that he is perhaps the manager keenest to utilise his club’s youth players in the Premier League.
Just as he did at Southampton, the Dutchman brought youngsters into the first-team at Goodison Park – admittedly with varying results.
For that reason, Kenny has to be considered one of the likeliest members of the U-20 World Cup squad to feature regularly in the Premier League next season.
The 20-year-old played every minute of the tournament in an England defence that conceded just three goals in six games and kept three clean sheets.
Like fellow international stand-outs Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Ademola Lookman, he should get his chance.
Breakthrough chance: 8/10