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Top Ten: U16 England stars of the future

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With much speculation as to where England's next golden generation of footballers will come from, Sport.co.uk takes a look into the future of our current U16 footballers and evaluates who will be able rise to the challenges of the English Premier League and then potentially to international glory. The England U16 national team is and has been run by former footballer Kenny Swain since 2004 and has seen plenty of its members progress through the ranks of the various England youth teams below the age of 21 and even onwards. Nicknamed "the England Schoolboys" due to the fact that a lot of their players are still in secondary school, the under-16s traditionally play an annual UK tournament called the Victory Shield, which pits them against the other nations of the United Kingdom, but since 2005, they have been playing in an annual tournament called the Montaigu Tournament held in France. Much like an U16 World Cup, it is the biggest stage for U16 footballers these days.

Our England youngsters have reached the final of three occasions, once in 2007, culminating in a 2-0 loss to the dreaded Germans, once in 2008, when our U16s won the competition against France and again this year, where we were defeated in the traditional English way- via penalties to Portugal. In watching these tournaments, it is clearly noticeable that England has a consistent and gifted youth system that, given the same regular FA attention and funding, can and will continue to produce top English footballers. Here are the next ones to watch out for:

1. Raheem Stirling, 15, Liverpool:

Widely regarded as possessing enough talent to rival Rooney's or Walcott's reputations at their ages, Sterling is undoubtedly the next golden boy to emerge from the U16 scene. After impressing hugely with his lightening pace and trickery at QPR, he was signed by Liverpool, who see him as the revival of their once renowned youth academy and most probably the best English player of his generation at the club. Steve Gallen, the head of QPR youth development, said that midfielder Sterling "has loads of natural ability" and that "this boy can pass, shoot, head it, score goals, tackle, defend, anything". And given Liverpool's current woes in the Premier League, who knows how soon we will be seeing this gifted youngster make his debut for the Reds.

2. Ravel Morrison, 16, Manchester United:

This 16 year old is somewhat of a talking point at the youth academy of the Red Devils; alikened to Ryan Giggs for his fiery pace, skills in beating defenders and great delivery, Morrison is a true left midfielder at heart. Having finished with the U16s this year, he will make the step up to U18 level next and will surely raise many an eyebrow with his performances. Under the watchful eye of Alex Ferguson too, Man United fans can surely look forward to this bright prospect for the future, especially considering Giggs is approaching 40 years old now... Most unfortunately, Morrison reportedly has a troubled personal life in a dangerous part of Manchester and was apparently stopped by the police in a car containing drugs and a firearm last year- let us hope he can put this behind him and focus on what many believe will be a dazzling future.

3. Zak Ansah, 16, Arsenal:

This exciting young attacking prospect is renowned at the prestigious Arsenal youth academy as an efficient goal poacher. The striker has excelled at junior club level for Arsenal, so much so, that he has joined the U18s despite his young age. He is in line to do the same on the international stage, having scored 3 goals in 4 appearances for England, and the rapid young Londoner scored the only goal in the U16 final in France this year against Portugal. Still at school, Ansah is about to arrange his priorities; he has been offered a full-time contract by Arsenal and looks set to follow the privileged few of his age group into the professional scene at the club. Watch this space!

4. Jack Barmby, 15, Manchester United:

Remember that surname from somewhere? You should do, seeing as young Jack's father is no less than talented veteran midfielder Nick Barmby- who made 23 caps for England and nearly 500 games at club level. United and England fans will be praying he develops into as gifted a player as his old man and the 15 year old has already scored 2 goals in his 4 U16 caps. Playing in the left of midfield like Nick, Jack is a springy, fast and tricky customer on the wing and he will only benefit from the experienced staff's knowledge at Old Trafford, as I am sure his father told him.

5. Max Clayton, 15, Crewe Alexandria:

During the tapping-up crisis of earlier this year in which Chelsea and Manchester United were accused of approaching young players illegally and the latter was consequently banned from transfers for its approach of Gael Kakuta, Liverpool managed to avoid similar punishment; Crewe Alexandria's director of football, Dario Gradi, had complained to the FA that a certain big club (Liverpool) had made an approach for one of the club's brightest young talents, in that of Max Clayton. A bright and energetic attacking midfielder, Clayton is, or at least was, on many a scout's radar until Crewe reiterated their desire to see the lad play some first-team football for the club before he inevitably moves away for the riches and glories of the Premier League. He has featured on the U16 England stage, scoring 2 goals in 5 appearances.

6. Hallam Hope, 16, Everton:

Coming through the same ranks as Wayne Rooney did, this young English striker is doing his best to be noticed; he has featured 7 times now for the U16 team scoring twice on the international stage, but his club form at junior level for Everton has been fantastic, most notably in a youth tournament called the Milk Cup (Wayne Rooney played in this for Everton too), in which Everton won in the final, largely thanks to Hope's hat-trick. He also won the Golden Boot for the tournament.

7. Jake Caskey, 16, Brighton & Hove Albion:

Son of former professional Darren Caskey, Jake plies his trade at Brighton, where he was recently offered a scholarship deal (professional contracts can only be signed at 17) in order to keep him at the club and ward off interest from Aston Villa and Arsenal. He has already featured for the professional side, making his debut in the last 15 minutes of Brighton's final match of the season against Yeovil Town. Prior to this, Caskey had earned himself a man-of-the-match performance after netting two goals against Bognor Regis Town in the Sussex Senior Cup final and he has also appeared twice for the England U16 setup before his early call-up to the U17s for a tournament in Scandinavia this August.

8. Matthias Fanimo, 16, West Ham United:

A product of the West Ham youth system, Fanimo has been a somewhat regular feature for the U16 squad, with 8 appearances and 2 goals. The striker is incredibly fast and has a good eye for goal too; he has excelled at junior level at a youth academy that has arguably produced some England's greatest ever footballers, and he was recently offered a scholarship by the Hammers with a view to a professional contract when he turns 17. With new management at the club too, it might not be long before we see Fanimo's name on the subs bench in line for his first Premier League appearance. The 16 year old has also recently been called up for the U17 squad too due to his fine form for the U16s.

9. Alex Henshall, 16, Manchester City:

Signed under the new Arabic regime at City, Alex Henshall's purchase is an indication from the Citizens that they still have a sense of duty to their country and do not just prioritise the signing of ridiculously expensive and talented foreign footballers. Henshall is one of the most talented players of his age group and before his signing for City, was already featuring on the bench of Swindon's first 11 despite his tender age of 16. The promising winger has also played in the Victory Shield for the U16s this year too, bringing his total of caps to 3. He is definitely one to watch for the future, though breaking into the Manchester City team 3 or 4 years from now may be quite a difficult task given their current approach to building a solid team...

10. Blair Turgott, 16, West Ham United:

Having just signed a two year scholarship with the Hammers, Turgott follows U16 team-mate Fanimo through the West Ham ranks into a potential professional contract in the next few years. Turgott has been at the Hammers since the U9 squad and nobody can doubt his dedication to the club. The sturdy little central midfielder scored 3 goals in his 6 caps for the U16s and this excellent goal to game ratio has really established himself on the youth scene, especially for a midfielder.

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Raheem is a special talent. Excited about him he was making them U18's look sh*t.

He is quite small though but I like his tenacity and work rate

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LOL at jack barmby. kid aint even near being one of the best in his u16 team let alone the country. Add to that the fact ravel morrison is neither left footed nor a left winger and i have serious questions about the person who wrote this list. cant talk about the other players really but it seems this guy has based his list on hearsay and has no idea who these players actually are and has probably never seen any of them play

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Wheres Nathaniel Chalobah?

He played realy well for the england u17's to help them lift the youth cup a few months back..

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U16s.

a few of those players are 17 though. connor wickham and will keane should be in these lists

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U16s.

That chalobah kid is like 15 though. Played up an age group

what i was about to say, I didnt know too much about him till i saw him in the u17s.. I thought he played well too, considering he was out of hes age group!

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U16s.

That chalobah kid is like 15 though. Played up an age group

Oh.

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U16s.

a few of those players are 17 though. connor wickham and will keane should be in these lists

What player is 17?

Wickham is 17, as is Will Keane.

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Wheres Nathaniel Chalobah?

He played realy well for the england u17's to help them lift the youth cup a few months back..

That kid is jokes, he loves sliding in despite his lack of size. Both pre-season games he was diving in with some big tackles haha.

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f*ckin ell mate i've played with and against half the people on that list.

Blair Turgott used to play for his dads team, not too bad but i never rated him that highly wasn't that much better than me, when you see him on lists liket it pains me to now i let talent go to waste.

Zak Ansah lives near me played against and with him numerous times before.

Another 1 to watch out for is Keith and Femi Orenuga 17 and 111/12 respectively big talents especially the former.

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Ravel morrison a left winger?

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These stars of the future never seem to live up to the hype e.g Cherno Samba,Joe Cole etc etc.

Only Rooney has to an extent but I think Wilshere will defentiley will.

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I would be very surprised if any of these kids turn out to be better(add Wickham to the list) than Lukaku/Thorgan Hazard

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These stars of the future never seem to live up to the hype e.g Cherno Samba,Joe Cole etc etc.

Only Rooney has to an extent but I think Wilshere will defentiley will.

To an extent?

He's one of the best players in Europe.

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These stars of the future never seem to live up to the hype e.g Cherno Samba,Joe Cole etc etc.

Only Rooney has to an extent but I think Wilshere will defentiley will.

To an extent?

He's one of the best players in Europe.

goalscorers? Not in Europe maybe in England.

Players? No way in Europe but in EPL yes.

You must of realized since Rooney started scoring goals in the EPL he has gone backwards in terms of his all round play.

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smh @ this joker killing the topic with his deadout Rooney talk.

/

Allow Wickham. Reminds me of Shearer too much.

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These stars of the future never seem to live up to the hype e.g Cherno Samba,Joe Cole etc etc.

Only Rooney has to an extent but I think Wilshere will defentiley will.

To an extent?

He's one of the best players in Europe.

goalscorers? Not in Europe maybe in England.

Players? No way in Europe but in EPL yes.

You must of realized since Rooney started scoring goals in the EPL he has gone backwards in terms of his all round play.

Most, if not all, teams in Europe would have Rooney in their first 11.

To an extent? He's made it, completely.

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smh @ this joker killing the topic with his deadout Rooney talk.

/

Allow Wickham. Reminds me of Shearer too much.

I refuse to be fooled by the likes of Rooney sorry!

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what a stupid logic so based on that he is one of the best players in Europe!

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what a stupid logic so based on that he is one of the best players in Europe!

Yes. :confused:

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what a stupid logic so based on that he is one of the best players in Europe!

Yes. :confused:

Ok thats your view but liked I said earlier I refuse to be fooled by the likes of Rooney.

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These stars of the future never seem to live up to the hype e.g Cherno Samba,Joe Cole etc etc.

Only Rooney has to an extent but I think Wilshere will defentiley will.

To an extent?

He's one of the best players in Europe.

goalscorers? Not in Europe maybe in England.

Players? No way in Europe but in EPL yes.

You must of realized since Rooney started scoring goals in the EPL he has gone backwards in terms of his all round play.

Most, if not all, teams in Europe would have Rooney in their first 11.

To an extent? He's made it, completely.

Haha your delusional Rooney is certainly not as good as you make him seem, not top in Europe.

Rooney = Overrated like most English players are.

Wilshere is going to be a beast of a player though, his a different breed from what England normally produced, the last player England produced like him was Cole and they've absolutely wasted him, when they should of been building the team round him lets hope Wislhere doesn't suffer the same fate.

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Joe Cole was that guy from the age of 11 until the day he left for Chelsea he became a any James milner type of player.

Wilshere I have a feeling will be a wonderful club player I don't know if he win any titles at club level as for international football he is going to need alot of help due to the fact who the current coach is and the clones(his team mates) he will be playing with.

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