ARTICLES Opinion

Three United players that could be pivotal for their country at Euro 2020

It is just eight days until Italy and Turkey launch the delayed Euro 2020 in their Group A opening match clash in Rome. There are currently 12 Manchester United men representing their countries in this tournament and many of them could be key men for their sides across the following month.

Gareth Southgate has called up four Reds for England‘s 26-man squad. Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Harry Maguire and Dean Henderson are all with The Three Lions, however, Jesse Lingard could also get a possible call-up after Trent Alexander-Arnold came off injured in England’s friendly against Austria last night. For Wales, both Dylan Levitt and Daniel James have been chosen in the squad for the summer.

Victor Lindelöf [Sweden], Donny van de Beek [Netherlands], Paul Pogba [France], Bruno Fernandes [Portugal], David de Gea [Spain] and Scott McTominay [Scotland] were all chosen for their respective countries.

Here are three Red Devils that could be pivotal men for their national sides during Euro 2020.

1. Harry Maguire | England

The skipper missed the final five matches of the season for United after he suffered an ankle injury during a 3-1 win against Aston Villa.

While he could only recover enough to be named on the bench for United in their Europa League final loss, Maguire will likely be back for The Three Lions, however, Southgate has said that “it is going to be tight” in regards to whether the centre-back will be available for England’s opening fixture against Croatia.

Nevertheless, if England want to progress into the latter stages of the tournament, the former Leicester City man will be crucial in ensuring the side are defensively solid once he is fit.

While John Stones has had a solid season for Manchester City this year, there is no doubt that he is complimented by having a strong centre-back next to him in Ruben Dias — for England, he will need Maguire next to him in order to have the best defensive pairing.

United’s No.5 also has brilliant aerial ability which will be beneficial in defence and possibly in attack, with an emphasis on set-pieces for Southgate’s men.

Maguire was an important piece in the impressive England side in the 2018 World Cup and it is likely that, after his strong campaign with United, the centre-back will play another important part for England if they want to progress through the tournament.

2. Paul Pogba | France

The Frenchman was arguably one of the most important men three years ago when he and his French teammates won the biggest prize in football — the World Cup.

Pogba has been in fine form for Manchester United this season and has scored many important goals, match winning goals. He has done the same for his country too, scoring in the final against Croatia in 2018.

It is likely that the United man lines up alongside the ever-impressive N’golo Kanté in the midfield, someone who Pogba has always shone next to on the less intense international stage.

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This season, Pogba has really proved his ability in the final third for United and while he will be lining up in a deeper area for France, it’s likely that he will be able to provide a spark when moving forward for France this summer.

He has always been a vital member of the French set-up, and will continue to be important for Didier Deschamps‘ side this summer. The midfielder has an abundance of talent around him in the France side and he will be able to supply the likes of Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, and also be a direct threat himself, while they attempt to win another international trophy.

3. Marcus Rashford | England

You could ask almost every United fan whether or not they want Rashford at the European Championships and they’d have the same answer.

The exciting winger has played 57 matches for The Red Devils over the course of the 2020/21 campaign and has had to play through injury throughout the season. However, his inclusion in the England squad is clear and it is likely that he could provide the spark for Southgate’s side in attack.

While the likes of Phil Foden and Jack Grealish are incredibly talented players, having Rashford in the side brings a forward player who has the ability to cause chaos among opposition defenders and he also has the knack of scoring important goals for club and country.

He hasn’t played his best football in the tail-end of the season for United, but Rashford will more than likely thrive with England because of multiple factors. Firstly, as the tournament goes on and England play some of the top national sides, there will be more opportunities in transitions for The Three Lions and that is where Rashford excels, he will also suit playing next to Harry Kane, who often looks to drop into deeper areas and supply the wide forwards.

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The 23-year-old has also formed a great partnership with Luke Shaw at club level this season and that will be able to be taken across to international level, where it is likely that Rashford can provide impressive link-up with his full-back.

With 17 goal contributions in just over 2000 minutes for his country, Marcus Rashford has proved to be a consistent performer for England and with him wearing the number eleven shirt for England at Euro 2020, it’s likely that he has an important role to play.

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