England-born Zimbabwean teenage star, Isaac Mabaya, made another big step in his fledgling career after making his debut for the England Under-19 side during the recent Fifa international break.
The 17-year-old Liverpool ace featured twice for the Young Lions in their successful UEFA Under-19 EURO qualifying round which ended with a 4-2 victory over Denmark on Tuesday.
Mabaya, born to Zimbabwean parents, earned his maiden call-up to the Under-19 side this month, exactly six months after scoring on his debut for the England Under-18 side during their 3-2 victory over Sweden Under-18 in March.
The gifted right back, who can also play as a midfielder was initially an unused substitute when the Young Lions began their campaign with a 2-0 win over Montenegro at the Hobro Stadium in Denmark last Wednesday.
Mabaya, who is being gradually eased into the side finally got his chance after being introduced as a second-half substitute when the England Under-19 side thrashed Georgia 6-0 on Saturday, providing an assist for Liverpool teammate Oakley Cannonier.
The versatile player then made a three-minute cameo as Simons Rusk’s side completed the qualifying round with three wins from three after a clinical 4-2 victory over hosts Denmark on Tuesday.
England’s Under-19 side will now await the elite round draw being made later this year with Mabaya hoping for a recall to the side which is tipped to defend their title from last season at the 2023 Under-19 EURO finals in Malta next summer.
Mabaya has been on a steady rise after making his first team debut at Liverpool during their pre-season tour of Asia.
He put on some solid performances for Liverpool’s senior squad in pre-season matches against Manchester United, Crystal Palace and Red Bull Salzburg which has seen him training regularly with the Reds’ first team this season.
Although Mabaya is eligible to represent Zimbabwe in international football in the future, he is being tipped to play for the England senior team having played for his country of birth from the Under-15s, Under-16s, Under-18s and now Under-19 teams.