England Under-20s World Cup win offers players hope but no guarantees at clubs | Andy Hunter

Paul Simpson’s side won the Under-20s World Cup but they will have to work even harder to earn regular places in their Premier League teams

It rains on a ticker-tape parade to remind England’s Under-20s that it will be easier to conquer the world than the obstacles that litter their path to regular Premier League football, but they can take comfort from the roots of their triumph in South Korea. Sunday’s World Cup success, England’s best return on the international stage since 1966, repaid a willingness of the Football Association and Premier League to act on concerns over youth development in this country. A change in attitude at Premier League clubs could bring further reward.

Lewis Cook, the England captain, had only just hoisted aloft the Under?20s World Cup following victory against Venezuela in Suwon when the debate began over the future prospects for Paul Simpson’s players. With a tone of inevitable, understandable foreboding.

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