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Friday 21 June 2013

FIFA U20 World Cup: Premier League talent to grace world stage

A host of players from Barclays Premier League clubs will be at the U20 World Cup in Turkey

  • Man Utd's Barclays U21 Premier League captain Tom Thorpe travels with England

  • Liverpool's Suso played a part in Spain's opening day 4-1 defeat of United States

  • Tottenham's Harry Kane and Man Utd's Larnell Cole are also among the England squad

  • England's James Ward-Prowse has 15 League matches for Southampton to his name

  • Liverpool's Brazilian playmaker Phillippe Coutinho also starred in the 2011 tournament

  • Man Utd's new signing Guillermo Varela (left) is in Uruguay's U20 World Cup squad

  • Current Chelsea star Oscar (left) won the the 2011 FIFA U20 World Cup with Brazil

Twenty-three players from Barclays Premier League clubs will be showing their talent on the international stage at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup, which kicked off in Turkey on Friday.

“For Harry Kane and Alex Pritchard to be involved in such a tournament can only help their careers”
Chris Ramsey

Of the 23, 15 players are in the England squad and hoping to be involved up until the final on 13 July. Manchester United's Sam Johnstone, Tom Thorpe and Larnell Cole, who won the 2012/13 Barclays Under-21 Premier League title, are in Peter Taylor's squad and could come up against club-mate Angelo Henriquez, whose Chile side are also in group E, along with Egypt and Iraq.

At five, Everton and United have the most players at the tournament although the latter's quintet is represented by three nationalities, while Everton's are all English.

Ramsey relishes World Cup test

The England squad also includes Tottenham Hotspur's Alex Pritchard and Harry Kane, who lost to United in the final of the Barclays Under-21 Premier League at Old Trafford last month. The pair will be joined in Turkey by a familiar face as their manager at Spurs Chris Ramsey will be a part of England’s management team at the tournament.

"On a personal level, I’m pleased and proud to add this tournament to my experiences and it’s always important to stay right at the cutting edge," Ramsey told the Tottenham website. "I can go there and see new trends that might well help the club and also work with the likes of Peter Taylor and Ugo Ehiogu [at Spurs], so I’m really excited.

“For players like Harry and Pritch to be involved in a tournament like this can only be beneficial for their careers, and therefore the club.”

Not all the Barclays Premier League players at the tournament have exclusively played for the development squads. A number who have broken in to the first team at their respective clubs will also be competing.

Southampton midfielder James Ward-Prowse made 15 Barclays Premier League appearances in his debut campaign in the top flight last season, while Liverpool’s Spanish midfielder Suso, who made 14 League appearances for Brendan Rodgers’ side during the 2012/13 campaign. Suso featured for Spain in their 4-1 opening win last night over the United States, for whom Southampton's Cody Cropper played in goal. Ross Barkley, who emerged in the Everton first team in the latter half of last season, will anchor England's midfield, alongside Gael Bigirimana, of Newcastle United.

The tournament has also had a number of players who have gone on to star for Barclays Premier League clubs. Phillippe Coutinho, of Liverpool, and Chelsea midfielder Oscar, both won the 2011 tournament with Brazil.

Stoke City goalkeeper Jack Butland was one of the 2011 tournament’s English stars who has gone on to enjoy success, having earned a call-up to the senior squad last year.

Barclays Premier League players at the FIFA U20 World Cup

Everton: Chris Long, John Stones, John Lundstram, Luke Garbutt, Ross Barkley (all England).

Fulham: Ryan Williams (Australia), Kerim Frei (Turkey)

Liverpool: Suso (Spain), John Flanagan, Conor Coady (England).

Manchester City: Denis Suarez (Spain).

Manchester United: Angelo Henriquez (Chile), Guillermo Varela (Uruguay), Sam Johnstone, Larnell Cole, Tom Thorpe (all England).

Newcastle United: Curtis Good (Australia), Gael Bigirimana (England).

Southampton: Cody Cropper (USA), James Ward-Prowse (England).

Tottenham Hotspur: Harry Kane, Alex Pritchard (both England).

West Ham United: Daniel Potts (England).

FIFA U20 World Cup results

Friday 21 June
Cuba 1-2 South Korea
France 3-1 Ghana
Nigeria 2-3 Portugal
USA 1-4 Spain

FIFA U20 World Cup groups

Group A: France, Ghana, USA, Spain.
Group B: Cuba, South Korea, Nigeria, Portugal.
Group C: Turkey, El Salvador, Colombia, Australia.
Group D: Mexico, Greece, Paraguay, Mali.
Group E: Chile, Egypt, England, Iraq.
Group F: New Zealand, Uzbekistan, Uruguay, Croatia.

FIFA U20 World Cup dates

Group stages: 21-29 June
Round of 16: 2-3 July
Quarter-finals: 6-7 July
Semi-finals: 10 July
Final and third/fourth place play-off: 13 July

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