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Chelsea’s Young Lions seek glory at UEFA Under-21s

A large contingent of Chelsea youngsters are looking to help England end a long wait for glory in this year’s UEFA Under-21 Championship in Italy and San Marino.

England, who kick off their campaign against France today (Tuesday) at 8pm UK time, won back-to-back tournaments in 1982 and 1984 when the final was played over two legs but the years since have brought frustration for the Young Lions, who lost to Germany in the 2009 final and were beaten on penalties by the same side in the semi-finals in Poland two years ago.

While Callum Hudson-Odoi is unable to play after suffering an untimely injury late in the season, five other talented Blues are in Aidy Boothroyd’s side, seeking to claim the title for England for the first time in 35 years.

Jake Clarke-Salter

Born: 22.09.97 (21)
Position: Centre-back

After a solid campaign on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem, where he played 37 games, Jake Clarke-Salter is looking to add to his impressive list of youth honours at the UEFA Under-21 Championship.

The 21-year-old defender, who has been at Chelsea since 2006, won three FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth League titles with the Blues before enjoying international glory with England at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in 2017 and the prestigious Toulon Tournament last year.

Clarke-Salter has played nine game for the Under-21s and marked his debut at this level with a goal in a 2-1 win over Romania in March 2018. He is England's captain for this tournament.

Jay Dasilva

Born: 22.04.98 (21)
Position: Full-back

Having captained England to victory in the UEFA U-19 Championship two years ago, Jay Dasilva is looking to win a second European youth title with the Young Lions this summer.

The diminutive full-back, who joined Chelsea in 2012 and won three FA Youth Cups and two UEFA Youth Leagues with the Blues, has represented England at every youth level from the Under-16s to the Under-21s.

He spent last season on loan at Bristol City, playing 32 games and scoring three goals for the Robins as they narrowly missed out on a spot in the play-offs.

Fikayo Tomori

Born: 19.12.97 (21)
Position: Centre-back

Fikayo Tomori is looking to follow up his successful campaign on loan at Derby County, where he was named the club’s Player of the Year by Rams supporters, by winning a youth tournament with England for a third consecutive year.

A two-time winner of the FA Youth Cup and UEFA Youth League with Chelsea, Tomori played for Canada at Under-20 level before switching allegiance to England in 2016.

He partnered Jake Clarke-Salter in central defence as the Young Lions won the 2017 FIFA U-20 World Cup and was also in the Under-21 squad which won last year’s Toulon Tournament.

Mason Mount

Born: 10.01.99 (20)
Position: Midfielder

One of the brightest talents to emerge from the Chelsea Academy in recent years, Mason Mount is eyeing a second European youth title after being named in the Team of the Tournament when England won the UEFA Under-19 Championship in 2017.

Despite being sidelined for two months with a hamstring injury, the 20-year-old enjoyed an excellent season on loan at Derby County, where he played 44 games and scored 11 goals.

He also made a memorable debut for the England Under-21s last September, setting up a goal for Tammy Abraham before scoring the winner himself in a 2-1 win over Latvia.

Tammy Abraham

Born: 02.10.1997 (21)
Position: Striker

Tammy Abraham will look to continue his fine goal-scoring form after netting 26 goals while on loan at Aston Villa to help them win promotion back to the Premier League.

The prolific striker made his England Under-21 debut in 2016 and has scored eight goals in 23 appearances for Aidy Boothroyd’s side.

Abraham will be looking to make it second time lucky in this year’s UEFA U-21 Championship after a disappointing semi-final exit in Poland two years ago when he scored in a 2-2 semi-final draw against German but was one of two England players to miss in the penalty shootout.

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