It might be a bit late but Euro 2020 is finally here! A month-long festival of European football. We’ve drawn our sweepstakes, got the beers in and readied our explanations to our loved ones for why the likes of Ukraine vs Austria are must-watch events.

One of the features of every big tournament is that it provides a stage for some of the lesser-known potential stars to make their big breakthrough. This year will be no different.

We’ve compiled a list of ten players who will be hoping to make a name for themselves this summer…

Sasa KALAJDZIC (23) Austria


The Austrian target man is the tallest outfield player at Euro 2020, standing at a Peter Crouch equalling 6ft7. He impressed against England in their recent friendly and is expected to lead the line for “Das Team”.

After an impressive debut Bundesliga season with VFB Stuttgart (17 goals), Austria will be looking for the big man to provide a substantial threat. And with the likes of Arnautovic and Sabitzer providing the ammunition, he could well be a force to be reckoned with, in the group stages at least.


Jeremy DOKU (19) Belgium


At just 19, Jeremy Doku is comfortably the youngest player in Euro 2020’s oldest squad. He isn’t expected to start but Roberto Martinez will be hoping he can bring an injection of youthful exuberance late on in games, especially with Eden Hazard still struggling for fitness.

Last summer, Rennes made the flying winger their club record signing when he arrived from Anderlecht for £23m. It was a huge gamble on the teenager who has struggled for consistency in Ligue-1 this season. So he’ll be desperate to prove his worth this summer, should he be given the opportunity.


Josko GVARDIOL (19) Croatia


If like me, you’re a Football Manager addict, then this is a name you’ll be very familiar with (even if you can’t pronounce it). The left footed defender turns into an absolute monster of a player as the years progress through the game.

Zlatko Dadic is well-known for favouring an experienced squad. So it’s a measure of Gvardiol’s potential and maturity that he has been included in Croatia’s party.

The 6ft1 defender, who can play in the middle or the left of the backline, will join RB Leipzig from Dinamo Zagreb after the tournament.


Adam HLOZEK (18) Czech Republic


Another wonderkid who may be familiar to many FM players. The pacy winger has already racked up 72 games and 25 goals for Sparta Prague.

Hlozek is quick, a neat finisher and at 6ft2, may see his future in a more central striking position. There have been whispers of interest from Liverpool and the tournament will act as the ideal shop window for his undoubted talent.

The likes of Soucek, Coufal and Vydra may be more familiar names to Premier League fans. But it could well be the teenager Hlozek who proves a thorn in England’s side at Wembley.


Jules KOUNDE (22) France


Kounde has been a permanent fixture in the gossip columns for the last 12 months. A move from Sevilla to one of Europe’s elite is expected before too long.

Standing just under 6ft tall, the Frenchman is smaller than your average CB. But his blistering pace, superb agility and intelligent reading of the game more than make up for his lack of height.

France have a number of options in this position so he isn’t guaranteed a start for Les Bleus but may be brought in to combat the Euro 2020’s pacier attacks.


Federico CHIESA (23) Italy


Son of former international Enrico Chiesa, Federico was pretty much a lone bright spark for Juventus this season, netting 8 goals from out wide.

However Italy get on this summer, it can be guaranteed that Chiesa will give it everything. He is a player bursting with energy and possesses the engine of a box to box midfielder. But that’s not at the expense of technical ability. A fullback’s worst nightmare.


Ryan GRAVENBERCH (19) Netherlands


Ok, so it’s probably becoming clear to you by now that Football Manager has had an influence on this list. But why not? They rarely get it wrong.

Anyway, the next wonderkid from the Ajax production line has drawn comparison’s to Paul Pogba, mainly down to his stature. And the injury to Donny van de Beek may be a boost to Gravenberch’s prospects of playing time at Euro 2020.

In 2018 he became Ajax’s youngest Eredivisie debutant, taking a record held by Clarence Seedorf. And he went on to be pretty decent…


Eljif ELMAS (21) North Macedonia


Most people are already writing off tournament debutants North Macedonia as also-rans. And that may well be the case but they have several players well capable of leaving their mark on Euro 2020.

One of those is Napoli midfield playmaker Eljif Elmas. Born in Skopje to Turkish parents, his name means “diamond”. A fitting name for a young man who is widely regarded as the nation’s most talented ever footballer.

It’s a lot of pressure on his young shoulders but he isn’t alone. The likes of set-piece maestro Bardhi, veteran Pandev and the relentless Alioski will make the Macedonians a potential banana skin.


Alexander ISAK (21) Sweden


After a disappointing spell with Borussia Dortmund, people started to lose hope in “the new Zlatan”. But the big centre forward is now excelling in Spain with Real Sociedad. He netted 17 times in La Liga last season, which has resulted in speculation about a move to The Emirates.

After Zlatan’s return to international football was scuppered by injury, Isak will be his team’s main man going forward with support from the talented Juventus attacker Kulusevski. This could be a big summer for Sweden’s new talisman.


Burak YILMAZ (35) Turkey


You won’t see many 35 year olds in Euro 2020 “ones to watch” articles but what a season this man has had. He fired Lille to Ligue-1 glory ahead of the mighty PSG. And he did so alongside two of his Turkish teammates Zeki Celik and Yusuf Yazici.

Yilmaz is one of only a few players to have played for all of Turkey’s big four clubs. Ageing like a fine wine, he hit a sensational hattrick against the Netherlands in March, cementing his place as Turkey’s undisputed starting striker for the tournament.

Many are declaring Turkey as this year’s “Dark Horses”. And if “Kral” (king) can lead his team to something special with the help of a talented supporting cast, it would be a truly sensational story.


Other Notable Mentions…

It was tough to narrow this list down to 10. And we don’t want any nations to feel left out. So here are some of the names to look out for from the rest of this tournament’s squads.

Jonas Wind (Denmark)

Jude Bellingham (England)

Glen Kamara (Finland)

Jamal Musiala (Germany)

Willi Orban (Hungary)

Jakub Moder (Poland)

Raphael Guerreiro (Portugal)

Aleksei Miranchuk (Russia)

Jack Hendry (Scotland)

Robert Bozenik (Slovakia)

Pedri (Spain)

Denis Zakaria (Switzerland)

Viktor Tsygankov (Ukraine)

Ben Cabango (Wales)

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