Who are the Players to Watch at Euro 2020?

Whenever a major sporting tournament, like Euro 2021 (or Euro 2020 as many are calling it), kicks off, people begin to really analyse the players of each team. English football fans will already be fairly familiar with the 26-man squad, most of whom have made names for themselves in teams up and down the country. Some fans, who enjoy the Bundesliga or La Liga, will also have an encyclopaedic knowledge of players from Germany or Spain, or even throughout Europe. Indeed, many players are also throwbacks to the 2018 World Cup. But who are the must-watch players of the Euro 2021 at this stage of the tournament?

Phil Foden – England

British fans will recognise Phil Foden (or not, given he dyed his hair blond to match Paul Gascoigne in the hope of achieving Gazza’s 1996 squad’s Euros third place) from Manchester City. The 21-year-old made a name for himself in youth football and then dazzled with his offensive abilities as a midfielder.

Foden is frequently listed as one of the players to look out for in Euro 2021. He excelled in the Champions League 2020/21, which means he’s somewhat known throughout Europe. Foden doesn’t just represent the bright lights of England’s sparkling new squad. He represents the midfield strategies that will be implemented by Gareth Southgate as the tournament progresses. Foden’s ability in the Premier League is promising and looks to help bolster England’s squad, especially so after his quietly impressive display against Croatia in the opening game.

Ryan Gravenberch – The Netherlands

The Netherlands team was one of the first to be confirmed, reflecting the excitement that the Dutch team have in returning to the top table for the Euro 2021. Donny van de Beek’s injury means manager Frank de Boer only has a 25-man squad, but that doesn’t matter when one of the players is Ryan Gravenberch.

The 19-year-old midfielder stands tall at 6ft 3 and is proving to be a formidable player, who should easily see the Netherlands smash through their group of Ukraine, Austria, and North Macedonia. Gravenberch is praised for his diplomacy on the pitch – he knows when to pass and when to trust his teammates, which is crucial in such a cooperative sport.

If nothing else indicates how positive a response Gravenberch has had, it’s that he’s already becoming a hot commodity when teams are reshuffled following the tournament. It is anticipated that many major teams, including Barcelona, will be interested in signing the player. Doing well at the Euros can result in a promising football future.

There are too many players to watch this time around to mention them all, with more than 500 men chosen for the 24 teams that make up the Euro 2021. But the above all represent a new era for their countries and a new chance for their teams to be victorious. Both players also represent midfielders and two different styles of approach to the position. If nothing else, their footwork makes for an enjoyable game for spectators. The excitement of a tournament like this is that each time it occurs, the playing field is levelled with the emergence of new talent.