A Few Players That We’re Banking On Having An Outstanding EURO 2021 Tournament
May 20, 2020
Delaying the European Championships until 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic has already had a significant impact on the tournament.
Star players will be a year older, injures will have an opportunity to fully heal and no one is sure of what the footballing landscape will look like leading up to the tournament.
What we do know though is that there will be standout performances, the emergence of hidden gems and star players reminding us why we considered them great in the first place.
We’ve put together a list of players we expect to prove this theory right in 2021. If you agree with any of our picks and have a hunch this player might just come up with the goods next summer make sure you’re using only the best betting sites — here is a good place to start: https://www.onlinecasinos.co.uk/blog/best-sports-betting-sites.htm.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB/Netherlands)
The Dutch wonderkid defender hasn’t had a flawless start to life at Juventus after impressing as captain of the standout young Ajax team of 2018/19, but Euro 2021 presents a fresh chance for De Ligt to remind everyone of his talents.
By the time Euro 2021 rolls around, the Dutch defender will still only be 21, which is remarkable considering the impression he’s already made as a centre-back in Europe’s elite competitions, displacing great passing ability and remarkable leadership beyond his years.
At the tournament, De Ligt will, presumably, be playing alongside Liverpool’s star defender Virgil Van Dijk, a player boosted by playing for arguably the best team in the world right now currently experiencing an agonising extension on their 30 year wait for a league title. The presence of Van Dijk will take the pressure and spotlight off of De Ligt, affording him the opportunity to quietly get on with his job and live up to his considerable potential on a massive stage.
The Netherlands themselves are looking to announce their return at Euro 2021, having missed out on the last two international tournaments. The country, not just De Ligt, will be determined to live up to their grand reputation and exhibit some of the exceptional form they’ve been showing in qualifiers under Ronald Koeman. With an extra season in Italy’s top-flight under his belt, De Ligt will find himself and his countryman in a position to make a mark on Euro 2021.
Oleksandr Zinchenko (CM/Ukraine)
Manchester City fans will know Zinchenko as the midfield academy graduate turned left-back who has become something of a permanent fixture in their title-winning squads due to consistent injury problems in the position.
Euro 2021 will give fans a chance to see a new side to the Ukrainian.
Zinchenko and his fellow countrymen showed excellent form in their qualification for Euro 2021, going unbeaten for a year even without the notable presence of their key man Andriy Yarmalenko. Part of the reason they’ve been so successful is in no small part down to the presence of Zinchenko who dictates play for his national team.
Playing in his preferred central midfield role, the playmaker has shown creativity and a range of passing not possible in his club role deputising at left-back. Matching his excellent stats for both his country and Man City will be a much harder task at Euro 2021, but he will play a key role for an in-form side looking to impress at their third straight European Championships.
International tournaments are often a place where talented player step out of the shadows, especially in easier groups. There are lots of notable talents and surprise packages out there sure to make their mark, and Zinchenko might just show a lot of fans he has more than they thought.
Serge Gnabry (LW/Germany)
Since leaving Arsenal in 2016 Serge Gnabry has been primarily known by English fans for two things, terrorising Spurs and making Tony Pulis eat his words.
Just a few seasons in Germany have transformed the 24-year-old from bench-warmer to key player for both Bundesliga leaders Bayern Munich and Germany. At Euro 2021 he looks set to convince any remaining doubters that he is heading to the top of the world game.
Lightening pace, an incredible goalscoring record and an incredible ability to read the game, Gnabry is so dangerous because of his versatility up front, matched only by his intelligence with or without a football. At the end of last season, the prospect of replacing club legends Robben and Ribery seemed difficult for Bayern, but Gnabry has done more than make up for their significant absence.
Germany are always a threat in international competitions, despite perhaps not having the collection of world-class players that guided them towards the 2014 World Cup triumph. However, Gnabry represents a new breed of German forwards, and will surely link up with Timo Wener and Leroy Sane to create a potent front three that might just dominate the entire summer.
Harry Kane (ST/England)
This pick might just raise a few eyebrows amongst England and Spurs fans who have watched Harry Kane struggle with injures and average form the little over a year now. However, Euro 2021 presents the promise of a fresh start for many players and might be the perfect stage for Kane to re-announce himself as a world-class striker.
As the World Cup in 2018 showed, England manager Gareth Southgate has an immense amount of faith in Harry Kane, handing him the captains armband and building England’s play around getting him the ball either from open play or set pieces.
There is nothing to suggest Southgate is ready to give up on Kane as his talisman yet and we could well see him given the opportunities to re-create the goalscoring efforts that saw him win the 2018 Golden Boot at the World Cup in Russia.
Were the Euros still going ahead this summer we would have said Kane has little chance of playing at the tournament, let alone making his mark on it. However, the Kane of next June will have had the longest break of his career and a full season to hone his sharpshooting skills as Jose Mourinho looks to build his vision of a Tottenham side around the Englishman.
Strikers can build their legacies at international tournaments, acting as lightning rods for play and terrorising untested, lesser defences. Next summer might just be an exhibition for the very best of Harry Kane.
So much about Euro 2021 is up in the aim, not just it’s prospects of happening smoothly. How will the return of Italy and Holland impact the competition, if Norway qualify will Erling Braut Haaland continue his domination of Europe and how will an ageing Christiano Ronaldo influence Portugal’s defence of the championship? It’s hard to predict anything, but we feel quite positive about these players succeeding.