Victorious under-19s offer reasons to be cheerful for Capello
England’s under-19 side lifted the gloom of the country’s footballing summer as they opened their European Under-19 Championship campaign with a 3-2 win against Austria.
Two goals from West Ham’s Frank Nouble and another from Arsenal defender Thomas Cruise secured victory in France.
England are 8/1 to win Euro 2012, and Fabio Capello will have noted the youngsters’ performance as he looks to the future with the senior side.
Following the international retirement of Emile Heskey, there is a vacancy among the strikers in Capello’s ranks, and Nouble could be the ideal long-term replacement.
A powerful and pacy 6ft 3in target man, Nouble has already made a big impression at West Ham, and at just 18 years old, he is well ahead of schedule in terms of his physical and footballing progression.
England are 2/7 to qualify for Euro 2012 as winners of Group G, and Nouble could possibly force himself into Capello’s plans for the upcoming qualifying fixtures.
With the majority of the under-19 players only recently making their first-team breakthroughs at their clubs, however, their best hope of international glory could be the 2014 World Cup.
England are 12/1 to be crowned world champions in Brazil in four years, and the likes of Nouble and Cruise could well feature in South America.
Cruise has already appeared for Arsenal in the Champions League, while Fulham’s Matthew Briggs, the youngest player ever to play in the Premier League, is another defender with a bright future.
Tottenham midfielders Dean Parrett and John Bostock have both featured in the Europa League, and much is expected of Bostock following his acrimonious move from Crystal Palace.
Nathan Delfouneso, meanwhile, has scored 10 goals in his 23 appearances for the under-19s, and the Aston Villa forward will be hoping to make an impression in the coming Premier League season.
Whose current crop of youngsters could blossom into world champions? Germany are 8/1 to win the 2014 World Cup. See the full 2014 World Cup market.