England's 2010 Under-17 squad - where are they now?

After England Under-17s won the European Championship last night, Sports Mole looks back at the development of the squad that featured in the same tournament four years ago.

The development of younger players in English football is a topic that comes under constant scrutiny as supporters of the national team continue to long for a successful senior side that can compete at major tournaments.

On Wednesday evening, England's Under-17 side gave a reason for the country to be optimistic after edging out the Netherlands on penalties to win the European Championships, but the team were only claiming the trophy that they won four years ago.

With that in mind, Sports Mole takes a look at how the players that featured in the 2010 squad have progressed since their success in Liechtenstein.

Goalkeepers

Sam Johnstone: Since featuring four years ago, Sam Johnstone has spent the start of his professional career contracted to Manchester United, but he has yet to make a first-team appearance at Old Trafford.

Instead, the 21-year-old has found himself spending time on loan at Oldham Athletic, Scunthorpe United, Walsall, Yeovil Town and Doncaster Rovers respectively.

Jack Butland: After being second-choice to Johnstone in Liechtenstein, Jack Butland began to make a name for himself by becoming first-choice goalkeeper at Birmingham City, going through the 2011-12 campaign as an ever-present.

His form at St Andrew's resulted in a move to Stoke City, appearances at London 2012 with Great Britain and a senior debut for England, and although Butland has endured a mixed 12 months, he remains one of the most highly-rated goalkeepers in England.

Jack Butland of Stoke City is seen in goal against the Houston Dynamo during the Dynamo Charities Cup at BBVA Compass Stadium on July 24, 2013© Getty Images

Defenders

Luke Garbutt: Left-back Luke Garbutt appeared in the final back in 2010, and although he soon went on to make his first-team debut at Everton, he hasn't been able to make himself a regular part of the squad.

The past two campaigns have seen him spend time at Cheltenham Town and Colchester United, but Garbutt can take heart that he was recalled by the Toffees for the second half of the season.

Nathaniel Chalobah: The Chelsea utility player is arguably the most highly-rated young talent at Stamford Bridge, and the club wasted no time in securing the long-term future of the 19-year-old upon the return of Jose Mourinho.

Chalobah was instrumental in Watford's run to the Championship playoff final 12 months ago, and after further positive spells with Middlesbrough and Nottingham Forest, he has every chance of becoming a success in West London.

Andre Wisdom: The Liverpool defender has progressed through the ranks at Anfield, but his development at the club was halted when the Reds began to make the transition from a top-eight club to title challengers.

Wisdom has spent the season on loan at Derby County, and whether they earn promotion or not, he could secure a season-long loan in the top flight next year.

Ben Gibson: Middlesbrough defender Ben Gibson has slowly but surely worked himself through the youth and reserve squads at the Riverside Stadium to become a regular member of the first team at the club.

The last campaign saw the 21-year-old make 33 appearances in all competitions for the Championship outfit, but he has failed to continue his development on the international stage.

Tom Thorpe: The Manchester United defender has become a regular in the reserve setup at Old Trafford, but he has yet to make his debut with the first team.

However, after featuring at every age group with England from Under-16s to Under-21, the future looks bright for Thorpe, who ended the season on loan at Birmingham City.

Tom Thorpe of Manchester United looks on during the FA Youth Cup Semi Final 2nd Leg between Manchester United and Chelsea at Old Trafford on April 20, 2011© Getty Images

Midfielders

Bruno Pilatos: Bruno Pilatos was contracted with Middlesbrough at the time of his inclusion at the 2010 finals, but he failed to make the grade at the Riverside, and after signing with non-league side Darlington 1883, his current whereabouts are unknown.

Conor Coady: Two years after the finals, Conor Coady was handed his Liverpool debut in a Europa League fixture against Anzhi Makhachkala, but he has only gone on to make one more appearance at Anfield.

However, the 21-year-old featured 50 times for Sheffield United during last season, and he could secure himself a loan in the Championship for the following campaign.

George Thorne: West Bromwich Albion have had high hopes for George Thorne for the past five years, but a serious knee injury at the start of 2013 interrupted his development.

However, with 14 first-team appearances for the Baggies in the bank, Thorne was able to return to action with promotion-chasing Derby County, and he is expected to be a member of the squad for the Championship playoff final with Queens Park Rangers.

Josh McEachran: When Josh McEachran burst onto the scene in 2010, he was regarded as "the next Jack Wilshere", but with first-team appearances restricted at Stamford Bridge, the centre-midfielder has found himself loaned out by the Blues.

Temporary spells with Swansea City and Middlesbrough followed, and after representing Watford and Wigan Athletic, McEachran will be keen to gain a regular place with a Premier League team after the summer.

Everton's Ross Barkley celebrates after scoring the opening goal against QPR during their FA Cup third round match on January 4, 2013© AFP

Ross Barkley: A broken leg derailed Ross Barkley's scheduled debut in 2010, but after recovering from the injury, the 20-year-old has developed into the outstanding young talent in the English game.

A series of stellar displays for Everton have made Barkley a target for many top Premier League teams, and he will hope to enhance his reputation in the World Cup finals in Brazil.

Luke Williams: Luke Williams has spent the past five seasons trying to establish himself at Middlesbrough, but the local-born midfielder has been restricted to 37 matches since his debut in 2009.

He ended the season brightly with regular appearances under head coach Aitor Karanka, but the 20-year-old will have to kick on during the 2014-15 campaign if he wants to play in the Premier League.

Forwards

Will Keane: The goal return of Will Keane at reserve level had given Manchester United genuine hope that the striker could reproduce the same kind of form in the first team, but although his chances have been limited, Keane has struggled in the senior ranks.

Loan spells with Wigan Athletic and Queens Park Rangers have seen him fail to score in 13 appearances, and he could require another year in the Championship before trying to make an impact at a higher level.

Benik Afobe: Like Keane, Benik Afobe was prolific in his time in the youth ranks, but the Arsenal forward has struggled to replicate that when making the step up to senior level.

He has enjoyed beneficial loan spells with Bolton Wanderers and Sheffield Wednesday, but it looks unlikely that he will make an impact in the top flight in the foreseeable future.

Saido Berahino: After signing a professional deal with West Bromwich Albion in 2011, Saido Berahino impressed during loan spells in the Football League before making his breakthrough with the Baggies last season.

Nine goals in 35 appearances is a solid return in his first full season with the Premier League outfit, and if he can continue to develop at The Hawthorns and at England Under-21 level, he could soon be drafted into the senior squad.

Robert Hall: After failing to make an impact at West Ham United, Robert Hall departed Upton Park to end the 2012-13 season with loan spells with Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers.

Despite making just one loan appearance at the Reebok Stadium, it was enough to earn a permanent deal, and the 20-year-old went on to score twice in 24 appearances during the last campaign.

Sunderland's Connor Wickham celebrates after scoring his team's first goal against Cardiff during the Premier League match on April 27, 2014© Getty Images

Connor Wickham: After scoring the winning goal against Spain in the European Championship final, Connor Wickham frequently failed to perform in the Premier League and hopes of becoming an England player looked bleak.

However, five goals in the final six games of the season for Sunderland has helped save his future at the Stadium of Light, and if he can start next season with a similar strike-rate, he could be given his chance with Roy Hodgson's side.

England's Danny Ings is congratulated by teammates after scoring his team's third goal against San Marino during their U21 Euro 2015 qualifying match on November 19, 2013
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