Emile Smith-Rowe and the value of tournament defeat

England u17s were left heartbroken after a dramatic finish to their final against Spain on Friday evening.

Just seconds away from victory, a set-piece was headed home by Nacho Diaz with goalkeeper Josef Bursik fumbling the effort on his line.

Penalties followed and Spain made no mistake from the spot, converting all of their efforts to recover in unbelievable fashion.

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England u17s were left distraught after late drama ruined their hopes of becoming European champions for the third time.

How must Emile Smith-Rowe have been feeling?

Pictured alongside one of the best players across the tournament in Manchester City’s Jadon Sancho, the 16-year-old was left to wait patiently for his chance centre-stage – one which never really arrived as Steve Cooper was reluctant to make any unnecessary changes, especially as his side were impressive for the most part.

The talented youngster will undoubtedly feel frustrated as he found opportunities hard to come by in Croatia, but it’ll help fuel his ambition to work harder and earn more minutes on the international scene after impressing at club level during the league campaign.

His progression hasn’t gone unnoticed at London Colney, either.

Six goals and an assist in 15 u18 appearances for the Young Guns is an impressive return from a technically-gifted winger who has caught the attention of Barcelona and Tottenham in the past as a result of his ability to change matches with his burst of acceleration, trickery, quick feet and improved attacking awareness.

He reportedly has a professional contract reportedly on the table from Arsenal.