The European Championship is rapidly approaching, with less than a year left until the tournament takes place in Germany. However, despite the deadline, little has been determined. Only one country (the hosts) has qualified, while teams have little idea of what their rosters may look like — just look at Germany, which has its own dilemma at striker.
Of course, it’s never too early for some predictions about the always unpredictable tournament. Just look at the most recent Euros: Italy, despite its World Cup failures, won it all, while the defending World Cup champions France went out in the Round of 16. Czech striker Patrik Schick finished as the joint-top goalscorer.
These aren’t just any predictions, however — these are about the rosters that teams will bring to Germany. Here are five uncapped stars I think could appear in the tournament.
CM Alex Scott, 19, England
England doesn’t have any glaring needs in midfield. Just look at this transfer window: Jude Bellingham is signing for Real Madrid, Declan Rice is off to Arsenal, and James Maddison has been linked with some of the top teams in the Premier League. However, Alex Scott is just that good.
Scott currently plays for Bristol City in the Championship. However, the versatile midfielder is having a breakout season, starring for Bristol despite their struggles. Scott scored once and assisted five goals, and his dribbling and passing abilities have stood out. He has been linked with a move to Tottenham as well as Brighton and Wolverhampton.
Currently part of England’s u20s, a big season in the Premier League could definitely lead to Scott featuring for the senior team in the Euros.
CAM Tommaso Baldanzi, 20, Italy
Despite its triumph in the 2020 Euros, Italy has struggled with replacing its older generation — despite the abundance of talent that it possesses. In its squad for the Nations League, for example, Italy relied heavily on the likes of Leonardo Bonucci and Ciro Immobile despite inconsistent seasons.
Baldanzi is one of many emerging talents in the Serie A. The talent has worked his way into a starting role with Empoli, having originally featured as a super-sub. Baldanzi scored four goals this season, with two of those being match-winners and the other two being equalizers. A small, creative midfielder, Baldanzi has been linked with some of Italy’s biggest clubs such as Napoli.
Baldanzi has the potential to have a breakout Serie A season next year, no matter which club he features for. If he does that, it will be hard to justify leaving him out in Italy’s aging midfield.
CM Gabri Veiga, 21, Spain
Spain has succeeded in replacing its older generation, with the likes of Pedri, Gavi, and Martín Zubimendi earning a spot on the team. Spain, recent winners of the Nations League, has a very good young core in general and could be a candidate to win the Euros in 2024.
Still, Gabri Veiga could force his way into the team. The Celta Vigo midfielder has been in incredible form, helping the Galician side stay in the top flight. Veiga scored eleven goals in La Liga last season and assisted four goals, including a brace against Barcelona on the final matchday. Liverpool, Chelsea, and Newcastle are rumored to be interested.
In my opinion, Veiga is already good enough for Spain’s team. Next season is his chance to secure a spot in Spain’s Euro roster.
RB Jeremie Frimpong, 22, Netherlands
The Netherlands has struggled in recent performances despite its quality side. The backline is a particular strength, with the likes of Sven Botman, Matthijs de Ligt, and Jurrien Timber breaking out in the European scene.
One Dutch star who hasn’t been capped yet is Leverkusen star Jeremie Frimpong. A strong start to the season was enough to earn a spot on the World Cup squad, although he didn’t make it off the bench. However, Frimpong — despite going from strength to strength in the Bundesliga — has been left off the subsequent Dutch sides. The pacy wingback had 15 goal contributions in the Bundesliga last season.
Still, if Frimpong keeps performing at this level, he can’t be ignored. He has to be in the squad in 2024.
CAM Fábio Vieira, 23, Portugal
Portugal has a never-ending chain of talent ready for the national team. As a result, Portugal has plenty of depth, particularly in midfield. Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva, and Vitinha lead the way, but there are always dozens of players ready to make some waves.
Vieira looked like he could become Portugal’s next great attacking midfielder after an incredible season with Porto, where he had 20 goal contributions in 27 games. However, he moved to Arsenal, where he has struggled for minutes, starting just three Premier League matches. A great passer, Vieira is set for a stronger second year in England.
If Vieira can improve in his second season with Arsenal, he should be able to earn a call-up for the Euros. It’s unlikely that he’ll be a starter, but he could definitely be an option off the bench for Roberto Martínez’s men.
Image Courtesy of Union of European Football Associations (UEFA), Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.