The coronavirus completely ruined the plans of UEFA for Euro 2020. The competition was postponed for next summer but that’s for the best under the circumstances.
Such a long delay will change a lot and one of the curious consequences is that it will provide a chance for some youngsters to win a place in the English squad. The manager Gareth Southgate has given such players a chance in the past, so he might do the same in the future.
Let’s take a look at the five young players most likely to take advantage of the situation and book a place in the English Euro 2021 squad.
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal
Bukayo Saka started the season as a promising young winger that received some chances mostly in the Europa League and the domestic cup competitions. After an injury crisis that hit the left-back position, the youngster was given the starting spot and he has been one of the most impressive Arsenal players.
His assists number for the season is in the double digits and he’s surprisingly solid defensively. I’m sure that Saka has earned the trust of Mikel Arteta and his talent is obvious.
I think that another season on the same level would certainly earn him a place in the English squad. There is one problem and it comes from Saka’s position. Is he a winger or is he a full-back now? I guess we will naturally receive an answer next season.
Mason Greenwood, Manchester United
Another teenager that has a chance to be in the English squad for Euro 2021 is Mason Greenwood. Manchester United’s youngster showcased his talents by scoring twelve goals in all competitions this year.
This is an excellent number for a guy that’s only 18 and a strong claim for more playing time. There is one big problem, though. Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford are ahead of Greenwood in the pecking order and Odion Ighalo has shown a lot of desire to stay at Old Trafford.
There are plenty of rumours of other forwards too, so Greenwood might be forced to look for a loan move or risks sitting on the bench for most of the campaign.
Phil Foden, Manchester City
There’s little doubt that Phil Foden is one of the most talented English players right now. He seems ready to play football at the highest level, but the problem is that he’s part of Manchester City. The club has a bunch of world-class players in his position.
That’s why Foden is getting far less playing time than he deserves. The youngster is patiently waiting for Pep Guardiola to unleash him and that could open the door to the English squad.
However, the likes of Jack Grealish and Mason Mount are playing regularly for their clubs which gives them an advantage against Foden right now. If he can secure a starting spot next season, the gap will quickly diminish.
Brandon Williams, Manchester United
Brandon Williams probably is the guy that’s the furthest from a spot in the English squad right now. The youngster has fewer than 20 games on a senior level but has shown excellent skills this season for Manchester United.
He’s quick, brave and steady at the back which are the best qualities of a modern full-back. If he can take Luke Shaw’s place in the starting lineup next season, I won’t be shocked if Williams ends up in the English team for the Euros.
Fikayo Tomori, Chelsea
The most experienced player on this list certainly is Fikayo Tomori. The youngster was too talented to sit on the bench and feature in the U21 games, so Chelsea loaned him to Championship clubs in the past couple of season seasons.
That allowed Tomori to gather a lot of experience and his previous season with Derby saw him on the pitch in more than 50 games. That helped the defender grow and return to Chelsea ready to fight for a starting spot.
While his performances in the 2019-20 season were far from flawless, that’s normal for a young centre-back. Tomori needs more time on the highest level and if he gets it before the start of Euro 2021, he might be able to earn Southgate’s trust.