There was good news and bad news for Reading Football Club’s trio of young stars performing at this month’s Toulon Tournament.
Michael Olise played almost all of France’s win over Qatar whilst Danny Loader was reduced to coming off the bench as England lost. Meanwhile, Josh Barrett didn't play.
First the good news and a positive runout for winger Olise in Aubagne, playing 89 minutes of a 2-0 win. The French have sent out their Under-18s this year given the European Championships for the Under-19 and Under-21 sides, making it an impressive scoreline over their Under-23 opponents.
Olise, wearing No. 11, had an active game but didn’t get on the scoresheet. Check out the highlights below. For another indicator on the strength of that side, a handful of players who have played in Ligue 1 are also in the squad; Han-Noah Massengo (Monaco) and Loïc Mbe Soh (PSG) starting on Sunday.
Things didn’t go so well for Loader, who came on for the final 20 minutes of a 2-1 loss to Japan. It appeared as though the U20 side weren’t at full strength, with Arsenal players Eddie Nketiah and Joe Willock absent so soon after the Europa League final.
England certainly weren’t the better side but went ahead through Trevor Chalobah - on loan at Ipswich last year - before two second-half goals from Japan both arrived thanks to slack marking of the man at the far-post.
Midfielder Barrett remained on the bench as Republic of Ireland thrashed China 4-1.
Next up for Olise’s France is a match-up with Brazil on Wednesday, June 5, whereas Loader will hope to start against Chile the day before and Barrett’s Ireland facing Mexico on Thursday.