Teenage winger Ainsley Maitland-Niles played the full 90 minutes on Saturday as England u19s won a tricky away game in Finland.
As if the match wasn’t going to be testing enough, heavy rainfall saw the pitch ruined and the venue had to be changed and the kick-off time moved forward. The conditions at the new venue weren’t a big improvement, but Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham scored the only goal of the game.
On Thursday, Maitland-Niles came off the bench to net the second goal in a 2-0 win against Macedonia and now has three u19 caps to his name. Currently on loan at Ipswich Town, the 18-year-old was named the Tractor Boys’ player of the month for September and is having a season to remember at professional level.
Daniel Crowley, who started the game against Macedonia, was an unused sub on Saturday. The team will face Italy on Tuesday in the final qualifying game, and should have already qualified for the tournament, which will take place in Germany in July.
Hopefully more Arsenal players will be on show there. Chris Willock, Stephy Mavididi and Kaylen Hinds are currently with the u17 squad in Chile ahead of the World Cup tournament for their age group. Jeff Reine-Adelaide will be representing France at the competition.