City fans had an early chance to scout England’s latest star
- Credit: Matthew Usher
He may have played his way into World Cup contention in the past week but Ruben Loftus-Cheek wasn’t able to get the better of Norwich City in the FA Youth Cup final in 2013.
The midfielder was just 17 years old at the time, when over 21,000 fans packed into Carrow Road to watch the first leg of that final, with Loftus-Cheek starting for Chelsea under-18s.
He was overshadowed that day as Cameron McGeehan – a former Chelsea youth player himself – scored a late winner to hand the Canaries an advantage ahead of the second leg at Stamford Bridge.
City skipper McGeehan scored another penalty to put the visitors in control of the second leg, in front of around 3,000 travelling fans, as a 4-2 aggregate success was sealed.
Attention on those 2013 FA Youth Cup winners continues for Norwich fans and could be brought into sharper focus when McGeehan returns to Carrow Road as a Barnsley player in the Championship this Saturday.
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Otherwise, Jacob Murphy was sold for big money to Newcastle, Josh Murphy is an important first team player for City and both Harry Toffolo and Carlton Morris are out on loan in League One hoping to earn their chance.
Loftus-Cheek has now raced ahead as the most successful player to feature in that final though – which remains important as it is the only Youth Cup final in the last six seasons that mega-rich Chelsea have lost.
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His first two appearances for the England senior team, adding to 40 caps across youth levels for the Three Lions, against Germany and Brazil in the past week have thrust him into World Cup contention.
The 21-year-old is currently on loan at Crystal Palace and some of his Blues team-mates from that Youth Cup side are also playing regularly as senior players.
Defender Nathan Ake was sold to Bournemouth for a reported fee in the region of £20million this summer after spending a season on loan with the Premier League side.
While in the Championship, John Swift is a key player at Reading and players on loan include midfielders Lewis Baker at Middlesbrough and Jeremie Boga at Birmingham, as well as defender Ola Aina at Hull.
The Canaries will always have that night in May 2013 though.