Four Next Generation Talents Who Could Shine For Wales In The Future

Four Next Generation Talents Who Could Shine For Wales In The Future
Oct 6, 2017

Featured International

Wales have named 20-year-old David Brooks in the senior squad for the first time last week, he joins fellow youngsters Ethan Ampadu, Ben Woodburn and Dan James in receiving maiden call-ups to the senior squad this year. With the core of the side that reached the semi-finals of the European Championships last year ageing, here’s a closer look at the next generation of talents to come from Wales.

David Brooks

The Warrington-born Sheffield United winger, eligible through his mother from Llangollen, made headlines in the summer after he was called up for Wales’ squad in the Toulon tournament only to switch allegiances and play for England in the same tournament. He would star for the Young Lions, scoring twice – including the opener in the final against Cote D’Ivoire – and picking up the award for best player.

He made headlines again after rejoining Wales’ set up with the under-21s during the previous international break. Just last week, he shone in the Steel City derby at Hillsborough as the Blades put their rivals to the sword. Brooks picked up an assist and the man of the match award and showed the glimpses of what’s to come later in his career.

Ben Woodburn

Not much needs to be said about the 17-year-old after he became Liverpool’s youngest ever competitive goalscorer after netting in against Leeds United in the EFL Cup last season. England had hoped to poach the youngster who came through the Welsh youth system from under-15 level onwards but an international debut from the bench against Austria – celebrated with a stunning goal – ended their hopes of winning him over.

In fact, his debut goal and the match-winning assist in Moldova means he is largely to thank for two of Wales’ three wins in World Cup qualifying. Woodburn is perhaps the most adored youngster right now from the Welsh, and it’s likely to stay the same if he continues his good form for his nation.

Ethan Ampadu

The son of former Swansea and Newport midfielder Kwame Ampadu, the versatile youngster – who can play across the back 4 or ahead as a defensive midfielder – is eligible to play for England, Ghana and the Republic of Ireland through his father and Wales through his mother. In 2016, he broke an 87-year-old record set by Cliff Bastin as he became Exeter’s youngest ever player at 15 years, 10 months and 26 days old.

Paul Tisdale paid tribute to his maturity and reading of the game, saying ‘he played like a 35-year-old’. He is seen by many as Wales’ most promising young player but he was prevented from making his debut against Serbia in June due to his GCSEs (Yes, he’s that young). A move to Chelsea soon followed and he made his debut in the EFL Cup, replacing Cesc Fàbregas in a 5-1 win over Nottingham Forest.

Dan James

One of the stranger cases in this list as the winger – who started his career with Hull’s academy before making the move to the land of his father – was yet to make his senior competitive debut before he was named as a replacement for the injured Harry Wilson in Wales’ senior squad for the game against Serbia. He didn’t come off the bench, however. Last season, he starred alongside Oli McBurnie in Swansea’s PL2 Divison 2 campaign. The young Swans won the title, and subsequently, promotion, by an 11-point margin. He scored 5 goals and assisted 7 in 16 appearances in that competition.

Leave a Reply

Your e-mail address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.