Meet England Under-16s stars aiming to finally bring football home at 2030 World Cup after Development Tournament win

ENGLAND are still on the hunt to end 57 years of hurt – but recent signs have been positive.

The Three Lions haven’t won the World Cup since 1966 – most-recently losing 2-1 to eventual finalists France in the quarters.

England’s Under-16s won the recent Uefa Development Tournament proving the future of the Three Lions squad looks bright

But with a squad bursting with young talent, including Jude Bellingham and Phil Foden, there is cause for excitement.

And now England’s Under-16s have given us even more reason to look forward.

The Young Lions won a Development Tournament last weekend – beating hosts Cyprus 3-0, Scotland 3-0 and Denmark 1-0.

It may be too early to peg the squad for future superstardom – but a number of elite players cut their teeth in this very tournament.

England and Manchester City star Foden for one.. and how about his club-mate Erling Haaland?

Spain and Barcelona whiz Gavi and Bayern Munich’s Holland international Matthijs de Ligt are also part of the tournament’s alumni.

More recently, Napoli’s in-demand wonderkid Khvicha Kvaratskhelia – nicknamed “Kvaradona” – has featured in the festival of football.

So without further ado, SunSport takes a look at England’s 23-man Under-16s champions to help find the next Harry Kane – or perhaps the next Bobby Moore?


1. Spike Brits

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: AFC Wimbledon

Two clean sheets from his two matches at the tournament, Spike – born Thorsten – impressed in Cyprus.

Already training with the Wimbledon first-team, Man Utd and Tottenham are believed to have been linked with the young Dons stopper.

Promising Wimbledon star Spike Brits was the main man between the sticks

2. Leo Shahar

Position: Right-back

Club: Wolves

A Wolves U18s regular, Shahar started two of England’s three wins at the tournament – and the club has high hopes for his future.

3. Harry Amass

Position: Left-back

Club: Watford

Started two of England’s wins and has caught the eye for club and country with his attacking prowess.

Not known, clear with picture deskHarry Amass has worked his way through the youth ranks with England[/caption]

4. Joshua King

Position: Central midfield

Club: Fulham

Already a regular for the Cottagers’ U18s, Nike athlete King started twice in Cyprus – impressing in the heart of the midfield.

InstagramJoshua King has become a key member of Fulham and England’s youth ranks[/caption]

5. Stephen Mfuni

Position: Centre-back

Club: Man City

One of SIX City starlets in the squad, Mfuni was part of the first XI on two occasions for the tournament win.

6. Kian Noble

Position: Centre-back

Club: Man City

Captain for the tournament and already sponsored by adidas, City and England have high hopes for the defender.

Noble was one of the few players to start all three matches at the tournament.

7. Shea Lacey

Position: Attacking midfield/winger

Club: Man Utd

Lacey is a gifted attacker, capable of playing anywhere behind the centre-forward.

Known as a free-kick specialist, Lacey started once in Cyprus – and scored in the 3-0 win over Sctoaldn.

He’s already caught the eye earlier this year with a goal of the year contender for United‘s U18s.

Lacey played a lovely-one-two with a team-mate after managing to keep the ball in play.

The forward then thumped a dipping effort into the top corner with his left foot.

Shea Lacey with a beauty of a strike

— utdreport Academy (@utdreportAcad) January 28, 2023

Shea Lacey is a top young talent for Man Utd and England

8. Chris Rigg

Position: Central midfield

Club: Sunderland

Arguably the biggest name in the squad, the Black Cats ace has garnered Premier League attention this season.

The 15-year-old is on the radar of Man Utd and club rivals Newcastle among others, as exclusively revealed by SunSport.

Rigg – who has already made his Sunderland first-team debut – started England’s two biggest games at the competition in the heart of midfield.

GettyIn-demand Chris Rigg has already made his senior debut for Sunderland[/caption]

9. Shumaira Mheuka

Position: Centre-forward

Club: Chelsea

Not the first and certainly not the last to make the move from Brighton the the Blues, Mheuka joined the Chelsea ranks last summer.

Graham Potter’s side are certainly in need of a striker and Mheuka is showing promising signs, despite his young age.

Made two starts in Cyprus and even scored the second goal in the 3-0 win over the hosts.

Shumaira Mheuka joined Chelsea from Brighton… sound familiar?

10. Mikey Moore

Position: Centre-forward

Club: Tottenham

Described as “absolutely ridiculous” by a club source, Moore is tipped to sign a new contract at Spurs.

He started twice at the U16s Development Tournament – but his only goal came off the bench in the dying moments of the Cyprus thumping.

GettyMikey Moore is on the books of Tottenham and making waves with England[/caption]

11. Divine Mukasa

Position: Attacking midfielder

Club: West Ham

Two starts and one goal – off the bench in the win over Scotland – Mukasa has a bright future ahead of him.

Divine Mukasa has been showing his potential with West Ham and England

12. Leke Drake

Position: Centre-back

Club: Man City

Sold to City for around £500,000 18 months ago when he was just 13, the ex-Stevenage man is clearly talented.

He started the win over Cyprus, but struggled to dislodge Noble and Mfuni from the first choice XI.

Leke Drake cost Man City half a million pounds when he was only 13

13. Hudson Sands

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Chelsea

Another forced to settle for a spot in the “second string” XI for the win over Cyprus, Sands played second fiddle to Brits at the tournament.

Hudson Sands was second-choice in Cyprus but one to watch at Chelsea

14. Luca Fletcher

Position: Centre-forward

Club: Reading

Made just one start in Cyprus, but scored THREE goals in two games late in 2022 – both against Turkey.

With one off the bench in the first match, he was rewarded with a start in the next, bagging twice.

Unable to replicate that in the most-recent tournament, but the Reading young’un is absolutely one for the future.

15. Trevan Sanusi

Position: Left-winger

Club: Birmingham

Sanusi scored England’s first goal of the tournament, netting in the opening minute of the second half against Cyprus.

Making waves in the Under-18s already, Sanusi notably scored a last-gasp winner against Everton in November.

Trevan Sanui scored England’s U16′ first goal of the tournament in Cyprus

16. Oliver Tevenan

Position: Left-back

Club: Man City

City’s U14s Player of the Year for last season, the left-back started once but was kept out of the XI by Amass on two occasions at the competition.

Oliver Tevenan won Man City’s U14s’ Player of the Year award last term

17. Jay Robinson

Position: Forward

Club: Southampton

A key member of the team in recent months, Robinson scored in the second win over Turkey late last year.

But he was forced to settle for a single start vs Cyprus at the tournament.

GettyJay Robinson is one of England’s promising crop of young forwards[/caption]

18. Oluwafemi Fapetu

Position: Defensive midfielder

Club: Man City

At Arsenal until 18 months ago when Liverpool and Man Utd circled.

But Fapetu chose Man City and has seen his career go from strength to strength – starting the 3-0 win over Cyprus.

Oluwafemi Fapetu joined Man City over United or Liverpool when leaving Arsenal

19. Jack Fletcher

Position: Central midfield

Club: Man City

Son of Man Utd legend Darren Fletcher, Jack incredibly played AGAINST twin brother Tyler at the tournament in England’s big win over Scotland.

Both brothers are on the books of Man City’s youth team.

They have no relation to Jack’s England pal Luca, though.

Fletcher started twice at the tournament.

Unbelievable achievement by the Fletcher family! Congratulations Jack and Tyler! Day you’ll never forget

— TheSecretScout (@TheSecretScout_) February 23, 2023

20. Kobe Barbour

Position: Midfielder

Club: Chelsea

Made his only start of the tournament in the crunch 1-0 win over Denmark after two sub appearances to kick-off his campaign.

The Blues ace is one to watch for the future.

Kobe Barbour, middle, joined Chelsea pals Sands and Mheuka in the England U16s squad

21. Jayce Fitzgerald

Position: Central midfield

Club: Man Utd

Starring alongside Lacey in the United academy, Fitzgerald managed just one start in Cyprus.

GettyJayce Fitzgerald is currently on the books of Man Utd[/caption]

22. Nicholas Michalski

Position: Goalkeeper

Club: Blackburn

Named in the original squad for the tournament, Michalski didn’t travel with the group.

23. Chidozie Obi-Martin

Position: Centre-forward/winger

Club: Arsenal

Selected by both England and Denmark’s Under-16s for the tournament, the Arsenal man was the only player not to register a start in Cyprus.

Chidozie Obi-Martin is a forward currently on the books of Arsenal