NEWS DESK: It’s no secret that FIFA U-17 World Cup is a platform for young guns to showcase what they have got as well as a happy hunting ground for football clubs around the World to catch them young. With club football on the rise in countries such as India, China, Australia, etc. along with the ever prosperous European leagues the incentive for players playing in the FIFA U-17 World Cup has increased, helping them secure a footballing career even before they turn adults. This is resulting in fiercer competition as every player will try to outshine their compatriots as well as counterparts to get noticed by the scouts from all over the world.
Vinícius Júnior is one such name known to the world already with Zidane led Madrid snapping him up for a whopping fee. However, this year it’s not just about international players who would be looking to secure a successful international (club as well as country) career with their impressive performances in the tournament scheduled to kick off on October 06, 2017. A bunch of Indian boys will get a chance to represent their country for the first time in a FIFA event even before they are eligible to vote.
Here’s an opportunity for our Indian U-17 team to get noticed early and train in different parts of the world with a strong showing in the tournament.
After a brief introduction to the 24 teams qualified for the FIFA U-17 World Cup India 2017, we would like to share a few stories of the players who largely benefitted from their impressive performances in the previous edition of the tournament in Chile.
Tom Davies (England)
Making 24 appearances including 18 starts, Tom was an integral part of Ronald Koeman’s midfield this season.
An Everton Academy graduate, Tom is Everton’s Young Player of the Year award recipient and also the skipper of the England U-19 Team.
Christian Pulisic (United States of America)
Attacking Midfielder / Winger
Captain of the United States of America at the FIFA U-17 World Cup in Chile, Pulisic could only manage a goal and an assist to his name in the tournament, however his talent was spotted early by the German giants early where he played 15 times for their youth team before being brought into the first team during the 2015–16 winter break.
Pulisic became Dortmund’s youngest player to ever play in the UEFA Champions League. With five goals in 37 appearances for Dortmund this season, Pulisic is the youngest foreigner to score a goal in the Bundesliga.
At 18 Pulisic has already represented USA’s senior team 13 time, netting four goals. Pulisic is the youngest American to have played for the national team in a FIFA World Cup qualifier game.
Pulisic is also the youngest player in the modern era to score a goal for the United States. On September 2, 2016, he became the youngest American player to score a goal in World Cup qualifying history at 17 years, 349 days.
Victor Osimhen (Nigeria)
Victor’s heroics in the previous edition of the tournament with 10 goals helping Nigeria clinch their 5th FIFA U-17 World Cup title was noticed by clubs across the world with VfL Wolfsburg snapping the young Nigerian in January 2016.
The 6 ft 1 inch forward since then has made 2 substitute appearances in the Bundesliga for the German outfit which successfully acquired his services for a reported 3.5 million euros.
Kelechi Nwakali (Nigeria)
MVV Maastricht (On loan from Arsenal)
Having a reputation of identifying players at an young age, Premier League giants Arsenal didn’t waste time in securing the services of Golden Ball winner at the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015.
Arsenal loaned the Nigerian to MVV Maastricht in order to get him some playing time. Kelechi went on to make 29 appearances for the Dutch outfit this season scoring 2 goals.
Aly Mallé (Mali)
Granada (on loan from Watford)
Scoring 2 goals (and 2 assists) for Mali in the FIFA U-17 World Cup Chile 2015, Aly was a hot property in the European transfer market with top European clubs battling to secure his services.
Aly decided to join the Hornets (Watford) who then loaned him to Spanish side Granada CF where he made 11 appearances including 6 starts.
Aly made his La Liga debut against Espanyol at the age of 18 in January this year.
Under new manager Marco Silva, Aly might make his Premier League debut for Watford in the coming season.