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Southgate in U20 transfer plea

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Last Updated: 11/06/17 8:10pm

Gareth Southgate has told FATV he is proud of the work being done at St George’s Park

Gareth Southgate says Premier League clubs can help sustain England’s U20 World Cup success by limiting transfers.

Competing in their first FIFA-affiliated world final since 1966, Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin scored the only goal as England claimed an historic victory in South Korea on Sunday – despite just 44 Premier League appearances among the Young Lions’ starting line-up.

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Dominic Solanke followed in the footsteps of Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona and Paul Pogba in winning the tournament’s Golden Ball prize, having recently turned down a new Chelsea contract in search of first-team opportunities at Liverpool.

Southgate, whose senior side watched the latter stages of the U20 final win from their French training base, believes it is now down to clubs to turn England’s youth success into results on the highest stage.

“Obviously ultimately the aim is that those players come through to the seniors,” Southgate told FATV.

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“A big part of that now is for them to get opportunities with their clubs because I think they’ve shown if we’re world champions at U20s then there’s enough players there to fulfil careers in the game without clubs looking elsewhere.”

Southgate added: “The senior team were watching the latter stages of the game once they finished training, so many of whom have been through the system, so we’re all sharing in it but it’s those guys that have done it so brilliant for them.”

Several of England’s new world champions have long been part of the set-up at St George’s Park in Burton, the FA’s National Football Centre, and U20 success follows on from their U17 European Championship victory in 2014 before reaching the semi-finals of the same tournament at U19 level last year.

Josh Onomah of Tottenham held the most Premier League appearances (13) in England's U20 starting line-up

Josh Onomah of Tottenham held the most Premier League appearances (13) in England's U20 starting line-up

Josh Onomah of Tottenham held the most Premier League appearances (13) in England’s U20 starting line-up

Five years on from the site’s controversial opening, the FA’s hefty investment into St George’s Park is finally paying dividends, according to Southgate.

“Fantastic achievement for them (England’s U20s), and on a bigger picture everybody at St George’s and within the FA and youth development in English football,” Southgate added. “Hopefully everybody at home takes pride in it.

“Great credit to the board and Martin Glenn (FA chief executive), they’ve backed some new ideas with funding and all of these things take time.”

Watch the UEFA European U21 Championship in Poland live and exclusive on Sky Sports, kicking off with England U21s’ clash against Sweden on SS1 from 4pm on Friday.




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