We’ve had some highly entertaining matches over the last two weeks or so in the Euros. Even better, we have watched some fantastic players in action plus we’ve got the treat of seeing new faces emerge. What might follow is clubs tripping over one another trying to acquire some of the latest shiny prospects. So we list three players who have brought their A game to Euro 2020. I’ll give you a clue - they are unexpected names.
“We witnessed him against Spain becoming the man of the tournament,” in the words of the ever poetic Peter Drury when he called Sweden’s game against Slovakia.
The name Alexander Isak will stay long in memory after a splendid show in the opening stage of Euro 2020. Against Spain, an opponent many thought would at the very least win with certainty, Isak was far hotter than the red of Luis Enrique. He was the tormentor in chief to the Spain backline, came close to a goal but in the end, both sides could only share the spoils.
Against Slovakia, he carried on. He showed his ability to carry the ball and pierce through opposition defense. Opportunities to score came for him but unfortunately, the ball never quite settled enough.
The most surprising thing is that he is yet to score a goal in the tournament. The unsurprising thing perhaps is his form. The Real Sociedad player arrived at the Euros at the back of a very solid season in Spain. He netted 17 goals, the most he has scored in his career in a single season.
At just 21 years of age, Isak has a great future ahead and could be on the radar of top European clubs this summer or even in the seasons to come.
One of the stand-out players in Italy’s squad through the group stages. His two goals against Switzerland underlined his impact in the Azzurri midfield, especially in the absence of the injured Marco Verratti.
Euro 2020 is not done yet but the Sassuolo midfielder has already attracted interest from big European clubs like Juventus, Arsenal and Liverpool. Many more could be lining up for him.
He might not be the most prolific goal scorer but it is his contribution in midfield that makes him dependable. His pass completion rate for short and medium passes stands at a rate of above 90% per FBRef.
He is 23 years old and could blossom to be one of the top midfield players in Italy if not Europe.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few weeks, you surely know or at least have heard of Patrik Schick. The Czech forward who scored what is undoubtedly the goal of the tournament on day four of the competition. A 50 yard lofted lob over Scotland keeper.
He is not stopping there. He is just one goal shy of Euro 2020 top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo and has a chance to surpass him. The Czech Republic progressed to the quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over the Netherlands and guess who got a goal, Schik. Ronaldo and Portugal bowed out.
The 25 years old Bayer Leverkusen forward is making himself hard to ignore. Surely, takers will be lining up for the Czech and it doesn't have to be the so-called big clubs. Leverkusen will not be ready to let him go either. He contributed 13 goals across all competitions last season and will need him as they compete across three club competitions next season.
Honourable mentions go to Netherlands Denzel Dumfries, Wales Keiffer Moore, Italy’s Leonardo Spinazzola and Swede Emile Fosberg.
Is there a name you think should be on the list and didn’t make it? Let us know!
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