George McEachran in action for England.Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Chelsea will be officially crowned as Premier League champions when they face Sunderland this weekend. But before they lift the trophy at Stamford Bridge, some of their youngsters could pip them to crowning glory by becoming European champions.

The Blues have four starlets in action for England at the Under-17 European Championship, with the Young Lions facing Spain in the final on Friday.

Both sides have been standout teams in Croatia, with England conceding just two goals en route to the final. The Spanish have shipped five goals, but scoring 10 in their five games outlines the attacking talent they have within their ranks.

While Santi Denia knows he has the players who can unlock the England defence, Steve Cooper will be equally confident his team can taste European success for the first time since 2014—and a quartet of Chelsea players have been influential throughout the tournament.

So who are the Chelsea youngsters on show? Let’s take a closer look.


Marc Guehi

Position: Defender

DOB: 13/07/2000

BURTON-UPON-TRENT, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21:  Marc Guehi of England in action during the U16s International Friendly match between England U16 and Italy U16 at St Georges Park on February 21, 2016 in Burton-upon-Trent, England.  (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty

Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Chelsea have a long line of talented defenders to emerge from their academy in the past decade or so. Of course, before that we saw John Terry come through and establish himself before the likes of Michael Mancienne and Jeffrey Bruma grabbed our attention.

The latter pair didn’t enjoy the same success as Terry has at Stamford Bridge, but both have carved out respectable careers elsewhere. Could Guehi go on to surpass them? The early suggestions are he can.

He plays at either right-back or centre-back and has been a part of the Chelsea youth setup since he was eight years old. Still only 16, the Ivory Coast-born youngster fits the same mould as the likes of Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham who have come through right from an early age to be coached in the Chelsea way.

That means he has a high level of technical ability, and with him turning 17 in July, we can expect to see him being promoted to higher ranks of youth football next season.

Guehi is also England captain.


Jonathan Panzo

Position: Defender

DOB: 25/10/2000

VOLUNTARI, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 30: Jonathan Panzo of England runs with the ball during the UEFA Under-17 EURO Qualifier between U17 Austria and U17 England on October 30, 2016 at Anghel Iordanescu stadium in Voluntari, Romania. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Gett

Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Described as a physically imposing defender by any of those who see him in action, Panzo captained England at under-16 level and has been involved with Chelsea under-18s this season.

For a player at this level, that all seems the norm. But then look at his date of birth and you realise the 16-year-old is a school year below many of his team-mates. Indeed, he’s one of the youngest players appearing at the European Championship this month.

Panzo’s talent has been on England’s radar for quite some time. Not only is he playing ahead of himself now with the under-17s, but he made his debut at this level when he was just 15. That came against Croatia last September when the Young Lions stormed to a 5-0 victory.

He has continued to impress since then, playing in every minute of England’s campaign at the European Championship.


George McEachran

Position: Midfielder

DOB: 30/08/2000

BUFTEA, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 29: Head coach Steve Cooper (R) of England chats with George McEachran (L) of England during the U17 England Training Session at Football Centre FRF on October 29, 2016 in Buftea, Romania. (Photo by Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images)

Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Chelsea fans will feel they already know George well after his brother Josh came through at Stamford Bridge. There were big hopes the latter would break into the first-team after making his debut aged just 17, but with injuries and loan spells knocking him down the pecking order, Josh is now playing his football in the Championship with Brentford.

It doesn’t appear that Chelsea are making the same mistakes with the younger McEachran. Still only 16—so a year younger than when his brother made his Blues debut—the attacking midfielder is being eased into his Chelsea career.

There are big noises about his ability in the junior ranks, yet the club continue to manage his profile well and aren’t heaping on the pressure. He has been used to good effect in Jody Morris’ FA Youth Cup winning side, where we’ve seen his technical ability in all its glory, but a promotion to Antonio Conte’s first-team squad looks some way off.

Still, McEachran is developing well, as we’ve seen in Croatia these past few weeks. He’s been a big part of England’s midfield, earning himself a goal and an assist in the early round of matches against Ukraine when the Young Lions won 4-0.

With the likes of Mason Mount moving up an age group next season, that’s when we’ll see more from McEachran in the youth team, where he will take on the mantle as being one of the Blues’ creative inspirations.


Callum Hudson-Odoi

Position: Midfielder

DOB: 7/11/2000

VOLUNTARI, ROMANIA - OCTOBER 30: (L-R) Callum Hudson-Odoi, Morgan Gibbs White, Lewis Gibson and Rhian Brewster of England celebrate their team's second goal during the UEFA Under-17 EURO Qualifier between U17 Austria and U17 England on October 30, 2016 at

Ronny Hartmann/Getty Images

Like Panzo, Hudson-Odoi is a school year younger than many of those who have competed at the European Championship this month. He won’t be 17 until the latter stages of this year.

To put that into perspective, he should be taking his GCSE exams in May like any normal teenager. Instead, he’s been in Croatia terrorising defences and scoring goals.

Hudson-Odoi has two goals to his name for England, with the latest coming in the semi-final against Turkey to help his side to a 2-1 win. The 16-year-old scored the game’s opening goal after 11 minutes.

He also has a knack for carving out openings, picking up an assist against the Netherlands when the Young Lions completed the group stages with three wins from three, winning 3-0.

Hudson-Odoi—who has been a Chelsea player since he was eight—is still ranked a schoolboy in football terms, but that didn’t stop Morris featuring him in his victorious FA Youth Cup squad that secured a fourth-straight success in the competition this term. He scored twice en route to the final, too.

And that’s the fear for most clubs right now. While Chelsea continue winning the trophies at youth level, as those players grow and move on, they are replaced by others who are equally as talented.

Hudson-Odoi is proof of that.

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