5 players to watch out for at the UEFA U-21 Euros
The 22nd Edition of the UEFA Under-21 European Championship is set to kick off in Italy and San Marino with the inaugural match scheduled for 16th of June. European heavyweights Spain, France, Croatia, Italy and defending champions Germany feature among the 12 teams vying for continental glory.
With a host of young talents taking part, top European club sides are looking to the tournament to unearth hidden talents to bolster their squads ahead of the 2019-20 season. The 12 teams are divided into three groups of 4 teams each. The group winners and the best runner-ups among the three groups advance to the semi-finals and qualify for the 2020 Summer Olympics.
In this article, we look at the top 5 players to watch out for in what promises to be a glittering tournament.
#5 Phil Foden (England, Manchester City)
19-year-old Manchester City attacking midfielder Phil Foden has been England's best player in the junior age groups for some time now. He first grabbed international attention when he lead England to the Under-17 World Cup in 2017 where he also won the Golden Ball as the best player in the tournament.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola thinks so highly of his prodigious midfielder that he gave him his first senior City debut at age 17 in a 2017 Champions League match. Foden then went on to break the record of being the youngest English player, at the age of 17 years and 192 days, to start in a UEFA Champions League match - doing so in a 2–1 defeat to Shakhtar Donetsk. He also became the first player born in the year 2000 to start a match in the competition.
Foden managed to make 3 starts in the Premier League for the Citizens this season, a remarkable feat considering the plethora of midfield talent Guardiola has at his disposal. The dimunitive attacker contributed to 7 goals across all competitions for Manchester City as Guardiola's side completed an unprecedented domestic treble.
The heartbeat of Aidy Boothroyd's promising England Under-21 side, Foden alongside Crystal Palace's Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Aston Villa's Tammy Abraham and Leicester City's James Maddison make up a strong Young Lions outfit capable of bringing the cup 'home'.