By Aristo Dotse

England are football world champions at any age-group level for the first time in history following their victory over Venezuela to lift this year's Fifa Under-20 World Cup last week Sunday in South Korea. And they owe much of this historic victory to a team spearheaded by a group of players with African, and specifically Nigerian roots.

England, football's parents, were world champions at senior level for the first and so far only time in 1966, and this latest U20 world triumph is already seen by some in England to be the springboard or stepping stone for a future England success at the senior level, as this team is seen as the new golden generation for the Three Lions.

The new U20 world champions have the potential to carry on from here and bring back glory to the senior England team, which have failed too often in recent years. This hope lies in players such as tournament hero Dominic Solanke, and others including Joshua Onomah, Ademola Lookman, Sheyi Ojo and Ovie Ejaria. Those four were regular features and formed the backbone of the victorious team in South Korea, alongside the likes of Freddie Woodman, who was named Goalkeeper of the Tournament.

Curiously, the Nigerian (and also Liverpool) connections in Paul Simpson's brilliant side in the form of Solanke, Onomah, Lookman, Ojo, Tomori and Evaria played a major part in inspiring England to World Cup glory and bring some delight (this time not hurt) to English football, even though it is not at the senior level, which really matters.

In these six players, England have some fine talent who helped propel the team to glory in South Korea and trace their roots in Nigeria, where their various parents hail from. Also, in Solanke - who in the course of the tournament agreed to join Liverpool from Chelsea - Ojo and Ejaria, Liverpool can count on three players of this golden generation.

A look into the future for the Three Lions....a taste of Africa

A prolific goal-scoring striker, Solanke (full name Dominic Ayodele Solanke-Mitchell), the Player of the Tournament at Korea 2017 joins an illustrious list that includes the likes of Lionel Messi, Deigo Maradona, Seydou Keita, Sergio Aguero, Paul Pogba, Javier Saviola, etc., has a Nigerian father.

Joshua Onomah, simply called Josh Onomah, with his full name as Joshua Oghenetega Peter Onomah, is also another English-born player of Nigerian origin. The brilliant Tottenham Hotspur midfielder was born in Enfield, in north London, to Nigerian parents.

Also born in London (in Southwark in south-east London) to Nigerian parents is skillful ball-playing midfielder Ejaria, whose full name is Oviemuno Dominic Ejaria. After nine years at the Arsenal Academy, he was released to join Liverpool in 2014 and is now a first-team player under Jurgen Klopp.

His teammate and counterpart, the skillful and high-flying winger Sheyi Ojo (full name Oluwaseyi Babajide Ojo) was also born to Nigerian parents in Hemel Hempstead, in Hertfordshire in the greater London urban area.

Then there is Fikayo Tomori ( full name Oluwafikayomi Oluwadamilola "Fikayo" Tomori ), who has Canadian and Nigerian roots and plays for Chelsea as a defender. Tomori has the distinction of having represented both Canada and England and yet remains eligible to still play for Nigeria at senior level.

Lookman, a quick-footed attacking winger, was playing for Charlton before he joined Everton in January. His full name is Ademola Olajade Lookman, and he was born in Wandsworth, south-west London, to Nigerian parents.

Nigerians on social media have been quick to celebrate the achievements of the players of Nigerian descent, jokingly claiming that Nigeria won the World Cup for England. But in truth, Nigeria should get very little, if any credit, for the achievements of the players because it’s had nothing to do with their success.

While it’s nice to acknowledge the success of Nigerians doing well outside the country, if anything, their successes are often a reflection of some of Nigeria’s failings.

But back to the matter at hand, namely the way forward for English football, with all these English-born players with African roots getting the chance to impress and help the national team. Like France, where many of the national team players have African roots, England will fare better in the future at the senior level, starting with these African transplants.

More chances given to such players would greatly help England on the international stage, with France providing a typical example.

In other words, if England - beaten by France in an international friendly last Tuesday in Paris - can give more opportunities to players with African roots, such as new golden boy Dele Alli - who is also of Nigerian descent - and Chelsea's talented Sierra Leone-born midfielder Nathaniel Chalobah, they would benefit like their superior French counterparts, who have made enormous progress in the last two decades with regular use of a large contingent of African-French players.