Uefa Under-17s: Can England boys make it to the big time?

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
England Under-17s captain Ryan Ledson of Everton
England Under-17s captain Ryan Ledson of Everton

England will bid for a rare piece of international silverware when they tackle Netherlands in the Uefa Under-17s European Championship final.

But how many of those players are likely to make it into the senior England side in years to come?

John Peacock's boys booked a meeting with the Dutch in Malta on Wednesday with a hard-fought 2-0 win over Portugal on Sunday.

Second-half goals from Dominic Solanke and Patrick Roberts did the damageexternal-link after England had been forced to resist huge pressure before the break.

Now they must turn the tables on a Netherlands outfit who hammered Scotland 5-0 in their own semi-final and have already beaten England 2-0 in the group stage.

Of the side that won the tournament in 2010, only Jack Butland and Ross Barkley have gained full England caps, and only one - Barkley - has made Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad.

Here is a run down of how the youngsters who achieved that 2-1 win over Spain four years ago have done.

Jack Butland
Jack Butland

Jack Butland (Stoke) - age 21, position goalkeeper: Has been on an unconventional journey in the last four years, spending two spells on loan at Cheltenham. He then moved from Birmingham to Stoke, went back to Birmingham on loan and last season spent time with Barnsley and Leeds. Amid all this, he was selected as England's third-choice keeper at Euro 2012, first choice for GB at the London Olympicsexternal-link and made his senior international bow against Italy in August 2012. He was named in the Under-21s squad for Monday's encounter with Wales.

Bruno Pilatos - 21, defender: His career has drifted badly since 2010, when he signed his first professional contract with Middlesbrough. Born in Angola, Pilatos was released by Boro in January 2013. He signed for Darlington in the Northern Premier League at the start of this season and latterly agreed to have a trial with Blackburn.

Luke Garbutt (Everton) - 20, defender: He has signed a new contract at Everton that will keep him at Goodison Park until 2015. He was loaned to Colchester last September, recalled by Roberto Martinez in January, but made just one appearance for the Toffeemen, as a last-minute substitute at Southampton. He is another member of the present England Under-21s squad.

Conor Coady (Liverpool) - 21, defender: Liverpool's Under-21s captain, has appeared for the Reds in both the Premier League and Europa League. He spent all of this season on loan at Sheffield United, where he was a regular starter and played in the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Hull.

Nathaniel Chalobah
Nathaniel Chalobah

Nathaniel Chalobah (Chelsea) - 19, midfielder: He has still to make a first-team appearance for his parent club, although he signed a contract that will keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2018. He had spells on loan with Watford and Nottingham Forest before joining Middlesbrough in January, where he scored one goal in 19 appearances.

Andre Wisdom (Liverpool) - 21, defender: He is rated highly by Liverpool, for whom he has played on 22 occasions and has signed a long-term contract. He was loaned to Derby this season and is set to feature in Saturday's Championship play-off against QPR at Wembley.

Will Keane (Manchester United) - 21, forward: He is out of contract this summer and is facing an uncertain future. His progress was hampered by a serious knee injury sustained on England Under-19s duty in May 2012. He spent time on loan at Wigan this season and also at QPR, although he has made just one substitute appearance for Harry Redknapp's men since March.

Benik Afobe (Arsenal) - 21, forward: He was handed a long-term contract by Arsenal in 2011 but his latest loan spell, at Sheffield Wednesday, was his fifth club in an injury-plagued career. He made five starts and eight substitute appearances after joining the Owls in February.

Josh McEachran
Josh McEachran

Josh McEachran (Chelsea) - 21, midfielder: He is another of the group who struggled to make it at their parent club. The last of his 22 appearances for Chelsea came in January 2012. Since then he has had spells at Middlesbrough, Watford and Wigan.

Ross Barkley (Everton) - 20, midfielder: He is one of only two players from that Under-17s team to have appeared for the senior England side and the only one to make the World Cup squad.external-link He had loan spells at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds before bursting onto the scene at Everton this season.

Connor Wickham (Sunderland) - 21, forward: He cost Sunderland £8.1m when he left Ipswich in 2011 but had spells on loan at Sheffield Wednesday and Leeds this season as he struggled to make an impact. All that changed in the final month of the campaign when he scored against Manchester City, Chelsea and Cardiff to guide the Black Cats to safety.

While England's record is not the greatest, their opponents back in 2010 have fared even worse.

None of the Spain side that day has been capped for the senior side and none of the starting line-up will be in Brazil.

Their most noted players are Gerard Deulofeu, who has just returned to Barcelona after an excellent year on loan at Everton, and Jese Rodriguez, who had just broken into the first-team picture at Real Madrid when he suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury in March.

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