Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

The FIFA Under 17 World Cup: players to look out for

Posted on 5 October 2017 by José Bourbon

The under-17 FIFA World Cup has just started. Even if usually this type of youth competition doesn’t bring a lot of fans to the stadiums, by contrast, agents and scouts see this tournaments as an opportunity to buy potential future stars on the cheap. To make their work easier José Bourbon looks at the tournament with huge promise to fulfil


A familiar name for most football fans, and one that carries great expectations, Timothy is the son of AC Milan great George Weah.

PSG have already snapped up the American 17-year-old, as they continue to build for the future with a plethora of young stars. This tournament could be a good opportunity to watch what Weah is capable of, and to see if the decision to sign a three-year contract at the Parisian giants was the right one at such an early stage in his career.


Remember this name. Toure is just 14-years-old and is already one of the biggest stars in his national team. The teenager is quick and has a goalscoring knack of a much older player.

He was the top-scorer at the Under-17 Africa Cup of Nations, where he led his side to a third-place finish. Age is just a number for this young player.

Even though Toure scored in the first match against Iran, his goal was not enough to avoid a 3-1 defeat.


Probably the biggest name at this World Cup, Sancho shot to fame this summer when he was signed by Borussia Dortmund after Ousmane Dembelé’s transfer to Barcelona. The former Manchester City player is just 17, and is already seen as the biggest young talent in British football.

Despite Sancho’s crucial role in the England Under-17 side that reached the final of the European Championships this summer, he is still waiting to make his debut for Dortmund.

His speed, technique and ability in one-on-one situations are already making the difference in this World Cup. He scored two goals in the first match against Chile, which England went on to win 4-0.


Pep Guardiola, Phil Foden’s manager at Manchester City, said of the young midfielder that: “I have never seen a young man at this age playing so well.” Whilst the 17-year-old is yet to play a competitive first-team match for his club, it is difficult to ignore comments like this from a manager like Guardiola.

Alongside Jadon Sancho, the midfielder has a touch that will give opposition defences a headache.


At just 16-years-old Takefusa Kubo is already one of the biggest talents in Asian Football. The young Attacking-Midfielder, who plays his club football at Tokyo FC, is hoping to make a difference for his national team, having already played at the Under-20 World Cup this summer.

Kubo, who stands at just 1.67 meters tall, possesses great technical skills – unsurprising considering he spent a number of years at Barcelona’s famous academy, La Masia.

The former Barcelona scored one of his team’s goals in the 6-1 victory against Honduras.


Top-scorer at the Under-17 European Championships this summer, notching up nine goals in five matches, a large part of France’s aspirations going into the World Cup lie with Amine Gouiri.

Often compared with Antoine Griezmannn, the Lyon player stands out for his strength and power, along with a talent for clinical finishing.


Like Gouiri, Jann-Fiete Arp had an impressive tournament at the Under-17 European Championships, where he scored seven goals. The young forward perfectly encapsulates the speed, strength and clinical nature that has proved so successful in German football in recent years. The 17-year-old has made already his senior debut for Hamburg in the Bundesliga.

He already started to have an impact in this World Cup, scoring his first team goal in this competition, against Costa Rica (Germany won 2-1).


The Left-Winger from Barcelona’s academy was one of Spain’s key players in their Under-17 European Cup victory this summer, where he scored three goals in six matches.

Gómez is a very creative wide player, and will hope to have a similar effect on the World Cup in India.


At just 17-years-old, Jaminton Campaz has already made five senior appearances for his club-side, Deportes Tolima. He was also one of the main figures in Colombia’s 2017 South American Under-17 Football Championship campaign, where they finished fourth, taking the final World Cup qualifying place.

The forward is known for his technique, touch and intensity.


There is no World Cup without Brazil, and this tournament is no exception. At only 17-years-old, Paulinho has already scored two goals in nine games for Vasco da Gama’s first-team, both coming in his first official start against Atlético Mineiro.

In the absence of Vinicius Junior (Flamengo’s forward who recently signed by Real Madrid), Paulinho, with his velocity and potency, is seen as the biggest star of this Brazilian national team.

He already had an immediate impact, scoring the decisive goal in the first fixture against Spain (Brazil won 2-1).

Featured Image: AniketMishra