Often Partisan

Nathan Redmond, Young Lion

Whilst most players are now topping up their tans on the beaches, or gambling away their massive wages in Vegas, there are a few who are still on international duty. Amongst them is Nathan Redmond, who is on duty with England under-17s at the FIFA u17 World Cup in Mexico.

The tournament doesn’t kick off proper for a week yet, and Nathan, who flew out yesterday with the Young Lions squad will have a few days to acclimatise himself to the heat, humidity and the altitude out in Mexico. It’s a good opportunity for the young Brummie to show just why he’s so highly rated by Blues fans, and maybe to give Alex McLeish a timely reminder that he is ready for Championship football next year.

Redmond, who has fifteen caps at under 17 level will be hoping that England can go a little better than their only previous outing in this competition – a quarter final exit against Germany in South Korea, in 2007.  The under-17 side have done well recently, reaching the semi-finals of the European under-17 championship; winning the Nordic tournament held in Finland along with a friendly tournament in England against Turkey, Australia and Portugal. I think winning the u-17 World Cup may be a bridge too far, but it will be good experience for the youngsters, and should help continuing to promote young English footballers as talents within the game.

England have been grouped with Canada, Rwanda and Uruguay, and will play their matches at Pachuca and Torreón. I’ve got to be honest, I know nothing about the other teams that they are playing; I couldn’t even get a Rwanda squad list and I suspect even if I was to look through the Football Manager database I’d struggle to find most of the players, let alone their strengths and weaknesses. I wouldn’t discount any of them though; many Canadian youngsters play in the excellent American youth football setup; South America is always known for having brilliant young talents and African football is also starting to be excellent at this level.

With Mexico being six hours behind us, it’s going to mean a few late nights watching them, but for those who want to see how Redmond and co get on, the matches will be shown live on British Eurosport and British Eurosport HD. Other players to look out for in the squad are Liverpool starlet Raheem Sterling, West Ham midfielder Blair Turgott, Everton striker Hallam Hope and Chelsea defender Nathaniel Chalobah.

I’m sure fellow Bluenoses will be wishing Nathan good luck for the tournament, and with a bit of luck it might help kick off what could be a very promising professional career.

 

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