From Haaland to Gordon: What happened to the next generation 2017? | football

TFinding out too much in football can be a brutal and risky business. There are a lot of pitfalls in the way and an outstanding 16-year-old may not make it for a number of reasons: loss of form and/or confidence, injuries and a host of personal reasons.

However, every now and then, the player comes through who is so good that it seems that they are destined to reach the top. Erling Haaland – or Erling Braut Haaland as it was known at the time – is one of them. Of course, a serious injury could have derailed his career, but he was one of those kids who stood out from an early age.

Haaland was part of our worldwide Next Generation pick in 2017, and as we look at how players have evolved in the past five years, he is the standout name on the list. Some would say he’s the best player in the world (although that’s a different discussion).

In an excellent piece for Coaches’ voicesAlf Ingvi Berntsen, Haaland’s first coach at Brian Club in Norway, noted that the environment in which the player grows also plays a role: “Having a safe and good environment, having Inge as a father, and being surrounded by his childhood friends helped him a lot. Besides the influence of his father, it was important Too much for him to grow up in a city like Bryne, as he didn’t have all the media attention that surrounds young footballers today.

“If he had grown up in a big city – like Madrid, Paris or London – he would still have been a good player, because Erling always wanted to have fun and loved to coach. But maybe in Bryan it’s easier than in other cities to let the young players grow up without pressure and enjoy the ball. foot without taking it seriously.”

It’s funny that Berntsen says that Haaland was considered “too young and skinny” even at the age of 15 and 16. It just shows that different players develop at different ages.

But even Michael Jochen, who chose Haaland for the Next Generation 2017, or Berntsen, could not have predicted how good the Norwegian would be. The stats, as we all know, are staggering. In his birth record 20 goals in 50 matchesin Red Bull Salzburg 29 on 27, in Dortmund 86 on 89 He started his career with Manchester City with 14 games in 10 games.

But Haaland is not the only player out of the 60 to do well. Other players on the list are Alfonso Davies, Vinicius Jr., Ferran Torres, Jadon Sancho and Pedro Neto.

In fact, 22 players went on to play for their country’s top men’s team (they were 18 when we summarized Class of 2016 last year).


We also select 20 of the best talents from Premier League clubs each year, although the age group here differs slightly in terms of the selection of players born between September 1 and August 31 in a given year when they are first-year scholars. For the next generation of 2017, this meant that they had to be born between September 1, 2000, and August 31, 2001.

This list included some notable players too, no more than Merseyside, Andy Hunter picked Anthony Gordon for Everton and Curtis Jones for Liverpool. Both have played more than 40 matches in the Premier League with their clubs. Gordon is 56 years old and has been the subject of several offers from Chelsea in the summer. Here’s what Andy wrote in 2017 about Gordon:

Everton’s Under-18 side suffered a agonizing night in their first ‘little derby’ of the season recently – a 3-1 loss to Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool at Kirkby, with Curtis Jones scoring twice – but not before Gordon showed another display of his potential. The attacking midfielder is developing a reputation for his ability to overpower opponents and clinical finishing, and both attributes were in the evidence as he put Everton ahead against domestic rivals. The 16-year-old was one of 12 alumni from the academy who worked full time with Everton this summer.

Neither Gordon nor Jones topped the list of the most played players in the Premier League. That award goes to Ivan Ilic, who was at Manchester City at the time but played 17 Serie A games on loan at FK Zemun and 68 Serie A games with Hellas Verona – and is still only 21 years old.


Other notable players on the Premier League roster include Callum Hudson-Odoi, who is on loan this season at Bayer Leverkusen, and Nathan Collins, who signed with Wolverhampton this summer for £20.5m, a record fee for an Irish player.

Not everyone stayed in England, many players followed in Ilic’s footsteps and moved abroad, some to their home countries, such as Arnau Puigmal, who left Manchester United for Almeria in 2021 and plays in the Spanish Football League for them.

As always, there will be players who drop sections or stop playing. There are two players at level 7 and it looks like one of them is no longer in the game.


What is a successful profession? It may be up to each individual to decide. However, one thing is for sure: there is no point in comparing anyone to Erling Haaland because that would end badly. Fellow international Joshua King once said, “He’s an eccentric.” “I’ve never seen anyone eat as much as they eat. Eat like a bear.”

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