The Toulon Tournament is a competition where some of the worlds best under-21 national teams are invited to compete against each other in what is considered as the most prestigious of all friendly tournaments involving youngsters. Since 2013 the tournament has featured ten different teams, but 2017 will be the first year to feature 12.
British teams involved in the tournament will be hoping to reach at least the last-four, with players hoping to make their mark on a tournament that has previously featured Thierry Henry, Javier Mascherano and James Rodriguez. 2017 marks its 50th anniversary, and England coach Neil Dewship will have high hopes of retaining the title.
England have the easiest group of the three teams, and should comfortably top Group A. Scotland face stiff competition in Brazil and the Czech Republic, and while Wales face a tough test against hosts France, they should finish in the top-two and qualify for the latter stages of the tournament.
- Ike Ugbo, Chelsea FC (England)
Ike Ugbo is one of Chelsea’s biggest rising stars, and has massively impressed during the 2016-17 Premier League 2 campaign. The 18-year old is well-built, and has a great amount of pace, and that combination has helped him notch 11 goals in only 21 appearances for the Blues this season.
Chelsea have arguably two of the best up-and-coming strikers in the English game in Dominic Solanke and Tammy Abraham, and Ugbo plays a lot like those two. The frontman has a great record with England, and will be hoping to keep up his good form in the Toulon Tournament.
- Regan Poole, Manchester United (Wales)
Regan Poole is a player that has been on the scene for a few years now, and since signing for Manchester United in 2015 he has featured in the Red Devils’ first-team training on several occasions. Poole made his debut for the club as a last-minute substitute in the Europa League in 2016, and will be hoping to make a good impression on Jose Mourinho in this tournament.
Poole is a great technician, and plays very much like a modern centre-back. He is great with both feet, and has great pace as well as physicality. He has made six competitive appearances for Wales, and looks destined for the senior national team in the future.
- Joe Thomson, Celtic FC (Scotland)
The 19-year old midfielder has been a mainstay in Celtic’s SPFL Development League winning team, scoring three goals in 21 appearances. Thomson has thrived in a box-to-box role this season, and he has benefitted massively from the amount of game time he has had this season.
Thomson has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of the now first-team left-back, Kieran Tierney. Celtic and Scotland have a saturated midfield, which could make life harder for Thomson but if he can continue to perform consistently, especially in this tournament then he could be the key to Scotland’s success.
- Ronaldo Vieira, Leeds United (England)
Ronaldo Vieira has had a terrific season with Leeds United, and his efforts have been rewarded with Neil Dewship handing the defensive midfielder his first ever England call up. The 18-year old has made 33 domestic appearances in 2016-17, and has been a mainstay in a United team that narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
Vieira could be the anchor-man in the England midfield, and will be hoping to impress alongside the likes of Andre Dozzell, Harvey Barnes and David Brooks. The tough-tackling midfielder looks like he could play at the highest level one day, and will be hoping to use the Toulon Tournament as a stepping stone for the future.
- Tyler Roberts, West Bromwich Albion (Wales)
Tyler Roberts has been a feature of the Wales youth setup for several years, and has been on the radar for several years. He has had a tough couple of seasons, having struggled to get any game time with West Bromwich Albion. The frontman started the 2016-17 campaign at Oxford United, and after struggling to settle with the U’s switched to league-one club Shrewsbury Town in January.
Roberts thrived during his time with the Blues, and was awarded the Young Player of the Season award. He has made 12 competitive appearances with Wales, and with it being Wales’s first appearance at the Toulon Tournament, Roberts is one to keep an eye on along with the rest of Wales’s attacking talent.