Highlighting the Nigerians on England’s U-20 World Cup winning team

Four were starters for the team, including Golden Ball winner Solanke

On June 11, England won the 2017 FIFA Under-20 World Cup with a 1-0 victory over Venezuela, marking their first victory in any FIFA World Cup since 1966. While neither Senegal nor Zambia were able to reach the final, there were still some Africans on top of the world, as the England squad involved six Nigerians of British citizenship.

The four Nigerian starters were Dominic Solanke, Fikori Tomori, Ademola Lookman and Josh Onomah. Solanke is 19 years old and is headed for Chelsea after already serving a stint with Liverpool. Solanke was already a winner for England, having helped the U-17 squad to a UEFA European Championship. In this tournament, he earned the Golden Ball award with four goals scored. Tomori was born to Nigerian parents in Canada, but grew up in England, so he is eligible for all three countries. He already played for the Canadian U-20 team before being recruited to the English squad. Lookman, 19 years old like Solanke and Tomori, is currently playing forward for Everton at the senior level. He also already has international experience, representing England at the 2016 European U-19 Championship. Unlike Solanke and Tomori, Lookman did receive a public invitation to the Nigerian squad, but he turned it down to remain with England. Onomah is the old man of the group, being 20 years old. Onomah has represented England since the U-16 level. He currently plays for Tottenham Hotspur.

In addition to these four Nigerian starters,the English U-20 team also had two Nigerians come off the bench during the tournament. Sheyi Ojo was one of the substitutes, despite already playing wing for Liverpool as a 19-year-old. He came up through Liverpool’s academy system and was loaned out to Wigan Athletic before making his competitive debut with Liverpool in 2016. Ovie Ejaria is a midfielder who also plays for Liverpool, and also came off the bench during the U-20 World Cup.

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