Seven players set to represent Leeds United at Euro 2020 this summer
08 Jun 2021 12:28 pm, by YorkshireSquare
Euro 2020 is nearly upon us after a twelve-month delay, with the first game kicking off on 11th June as Turkey take on Italy at the Stadio Olimpico in Group A. Until then a long palms bet blog post from kazinoekstra will keep you entertained. But in the meantime, let’s take a look at the Leeds United players representing their countries this summer. In all there are seven Leeds players at Euro 2020 representing North Macedonia, Germany, Spain, England, Scotland, Wales and Poland. It could have been even more but unfortunately Rodrigo’s injury issues and lack of first team football in the second half of the season mean he is not included in the Spain squad and Stuart Dallas misses out as Northern Ireland failed to qualify, losing to Slovakia in the qualification play-off final.
Gjanni Alioski – North Macedonia
Gjanni Alioski may not be a Leeds United player come the end of the tournament but for now he is still one of our own and an indispensable player in Marcelo Bielsa’s side last season. Alioski has been equally versatile for his country, playing multiple positions but more recently in his favoured left wing role. He has made a total of 43 appearances for Macedonia, the latest coming in their 4-0 friendly victory over Kazakhstan last Friday. Alioski stepped up to bag his eight goal for his country from the spot and was unlucky not to add to his tally later on in the game. Macedonia find themselves in Group C alongside Austria, The Netherlands and Ukraine. They are considered ultimate underdogs in their first major tournament appearance.
Liam Cooper – Scotland
Cooper was eligible to represent England, having been born in Hull but he chose to represent Scotland, who he qualifies for through his paternal grandfather, at Under 17 level. He made his senior debut against Russia on 6th September 2019 and has gone on to make 6 appearances for Scotland but has missed a lot of games recently due to injuries. He did however feature at centre back for their 2-2 friendly draw against the Netherlands last week. A very shaky qualifying campaign somehow saw Scotland beat Serbia on penalties to book a spot in Euro 2020. They line up in Group D alongside England, Croatia and Czech Republic. Escaping from their group would be a massive against the odds achievement for Steve Clarke’s side.
Mateusz Klich – Poland
Mateusz Klich has had a difficult season for Leeds United, playing with a hip injury for a large part of the season with his Euro’s preparations also disrupted having tested positive for Covid whilst on international duty. But he looked back to his best at the end of the season and having been released early for international duty by Marcelo Bielsa he will be going into the tournament fresh. Klich made his debut for the national team of Poland on 5th June 2011 in a friendly match against Argentina, he has made 31 appearances, scoring 2 goals. Poland comfortably made it through to Euro 2020 and a huge amount of this is down to Robert Lewandowski. Poland are in Group E along with Spain, Sweden and Slovakia and whilst qualification from may be an outside bet, anything is possible when you have Lewandowski in your team!
Robin Koch – Germany
Robin Koch had a tough task at Leeds United, replacing Ben White. But it is a task he has taken on well and his early season performances impressed. Absence through injury cost him nearly half a season but his recent performances, particularly in defensive midfield show what a versatile player he is. Koch made his debut for Germany on 9th October 2019 and has made 8 senior appearances, the most recent in their warmup match against Denmark. Manager Joachim Low has experienced lots of success in the 14 years in charge and most notably was their 2014 World Cup victory. Only a few of that squad remain but they are experiencing a flurry of youth, Robin Koch and Champions League winning goal scorer Kai Havertz amongst them. Germany are in Group F alongside France, Portugal and Hungary, a tough group indeed but Germany are favourites to proceed and one of the favourites for the tournament.
Tyler Roberts – Wales
Though Roberts represented his country of birth England as a schoolboy, he later elected to play for Wales, qualifying for selection as two of his grandparents are Welsh. He made his debut in August 2018 when he was named in Ryan Giggs team for the nation's UEFA Nations League match against Denmark. He has made 14 appearances for Wales, the latest in their warmup game against Albania. Wales will always be remembered for their astonishing run in Euro 2016 where they went all the way to the Semi-Finals. Their key player back then was Gareth Bale and it will be no different this time round, though he isn’t quite the player he was back then. They find themselves in Group A with Italy, Turkey and Switzerland. Qualification will be a tough prospect, especially without their manager!
Kalvin Phillips – England
Gareth Southgate monitored Kalvin Phillips for a long time before finally giving him his England debut on 8th September 2020 against Denmark in the UEFA Nations League. Transformed by Marcelo Bielsa into on of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League, he has been indispensable to Southgate with Jordan Henderson put injured. The shoulder injury Phillips picked up in the final game of the season against West Brom kept him out of England’s warmup game against Austria but he did feature against Romania and will be fit for the start of the tournament. England are in Group D alongside Scotland, Croatia and Czech Republic. England almost went unbeaten during their Group A qualifying campaign, winning 7 and losing just the one. The one game they lost was a surprising one against the Czech Republic, though they remain favourites to win the group.
Diego Llorente – Spain
Diego Llorente did not have the easiest start to life at Leeds United, his season beset by injuries before he even got started. But his emergence in the centre of Marcelo Bielsa’s defence has coincided with a turn around in defensive performance, conceding only 8 goals in their last 10 games. Llorente’s performances have led to his recall to the Spain squad for this summers tournament where he will hope to build on his 8 appearances. Spain finished the qualifying stage without losing a single game. With Luis Enrique in charge, a man won the UEFA Champions League with Barcelona back in 2015, they have an extremely good and experienced coach to help them along the way. They are in Group E with Sweden, Poland and Slovakia and are the favourites to win the group.
Rodrigo is also on standby for the Spain squad as their camp has been hit with a Covid outbreak, so there could even be eight Leeds players at the tournament! With representatives for England, Spain and Germany there should be a good chance of some Leeds United interest well into the second half of the competition. Who knows Wales, Poland and Macedonia could spring a surprise or two themselves.