How Sancho is leading England’s next golden generation

“On this day” flashed on my mobile, delivering a catalogue of photos from exactly a year ago when the Under-17 World Cup took place in India, a ­tournament very close to my heart.

I was privileged to present all the live matches in ­Mumbai alongside a stellar line-up of pundits, including Luis Garcia, David Moyes and Stuart Pearce.

A year ago today, the Young Lions progressed out of the group stages, winning a ­penalty shootout against Japan.

It was also at this stage Jadon Sancho left the ­tournament, recalled by his club Borussia Dortmund for his Bundesliga debut.

Fast-forward a year and Sancho has made his ­senior England debut in the Nations League against World Cup finalists Croatia.

What an incredible year for this young man!

He has also featured in a Champions League game, made 10 appearances for his club across all competitions and recorded more assists than both Messi and Ronaldo.

Coming on for Raheem Sterling against Croatia was not only a ­defining moment for him, but for the entire Class of 2017, many of whom I believe are also set for

General consensus is, ­success has been achieved if a player progresses to the ­senior team, but I believe we will be talking about more than just one of the U-17 World Cup winners in the coming years.

Arsenal fans are familiar with Emile Smith Rowe, who netted his first goal in their 3-0 win over Qarabag.

He was instrumental in getting the Young Lions to the final back then in ­October with an assist for the defining goal that knocked out Brazil and sent England through.

Wolves midfielder Morgan Gibbs-White has made four appearances in the Premier League this season. He scored in the quarter-final and final of the U-17 World Cup.

Phil Foden was player of the tournament and made his U-21 debut last week.

At club level under the ­tutelage of Pep Guardiola, he scored his first goal for ­Manchester City in the ­Carabao Cup last month and has also featured three times as a sub in the Premier League. U-17 World Cup Golden Boot winner Rhian Brewster has just signed a five-year deal with Liverpool.

Currently sidelined through injury, he has their front three to learn from, and the ­stewardship of Jurgen Klopp.

Callum Hudson-Odoi is regarded as one of the finest talents from the Chelsea ­academy and impressed in ­pre-season against Manchester City in the Community Shield.

Manager Steve Cooper led the U-17s to glory and has much to be proud of. Having a group of talented individuals is one thing, ­getting them to play as a unit is another.

It’s 52 weeks since the Young Lions etched their names into history, winning the tournament for the first time.

“We have a new golden generation” tweeted Gary Lineker after they lifted the trophy.

A year later, with ­Sancho making his senior England debut, the golden generation is starting to shine, but this is just the beginning.

Watch out for the Class of 2017.

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