With EURO 2020 underway, and most teams having played twice already, some players who few have heard of are making headlines, and could be moving to a top club soon. Off the back of an impressive international tournament, players can build an impressive career, such as James Rodriguez after the 2014 World Cup, or Aleksandr Golovin in 2018. Who could be the breakout star of this tournament?
To start, many players have been impressive so far in this tournament. However, we have seen players who many thought would impress struggle, and many players who people thought would struggle, play extremely well.
The Dutchman has had a stellar season at PSV, playing as an attack-minded right back, but in the Dutch team under Frank De Boer he plays as the Netherlands only right-sided player, acting somewhere between a wing back and a winger. If this were to be his breakout tournament, he has started incredibly well, scoring in each of the Netherlands first two games, including a late winner over Ukraine.
With the side already through the group, they could play with more freedom in the final game against North Macedonia, and maybe Dumfries will star once again for the Oranje.
Although he has only played once so far, in the game against Croatia he set up the winning goal, despite many calling for him not to start in the first game of the tournament. The man-of-the-match contender was instrumental to everything England did, allowing the more high profile attacking talent at Gareth Southgate’s disposal more freedom and movement, whilst maintaining his positioning and defensive shape throughout.
In what may seem a stroke of tactical genius by Southgate, he has allowed Phillips to roam further up the pitch, and rather than playing a midfield pivot of two like many expected, it became more of a box-to-box role for the Leeds midfielder, with West Hams Declan Rice staying more defensive. It could be a breakout tournament for the England star.
The Czech Republic pulled off a 2-0 win against the Scots in the first game of the group, with Patrick Schick claiming the man-of-the-match award for scoring both goals, including a wonder goal from his own half. Many will have known about Schick for a while, with him being touted for a good season for years, without ever realising this potential.
This could be his breakout tournament, with the Czech side standing a great chance of getting out of the groups. With Schick as the star man, along with the defensive structure of the Czech, he can be allowed to shine, and maybe we will see him perform at a club level next season.
Before the tournament, not many saw Locatelli as a box-to-box central midfielder, but during the EURO’s Mancini has been using the Milan academy graduate in that position. playing a similar role to Kalvin Phillips has allowed him to show some real attacking intent, displacing the experienced and incredibly talented Marco Verratti.
The Italian scored a brace against Switzerland, with him also claiming the man-of-the-match award. He has shown a lot of promise since coming through at AC Milan, and some thought he was destined for mediocrity once he signed for Sassuolo, but a great season has led to lots of links to some top teams already this summer!
Who do you think will be the breakout star of this years tournament? Make sure to let us know in the comments!
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