It became clear pretty quickly that there was no way EURO 2020 could go ahead this year, but the decision to delay it for a year might have some advantages.
A lot of the talk from England before the Coronavirus crisis took hold was the amount of key players who might end up missing the tournament through injury, so this gives them plenty of time to get fit.
There’s also the possibility that some players could use the extra year to kick on and force their way into the squad, so here’s a look st some players who might benefit from the delay.
Marcus Rashford – Man United
His injury just seemed to get worse with every passing day, it went from being out for a few weeks to missing the rest of the season, so there was no way that he would be in a position to play this Summer. He had shown the ability to lead a very mediocre Man United side and he scored regularly while being the main man. Next season promises to be brighter at Old Trafford so he should have a whole year to regain his fitness while continuing to develop.
Harry Kane – Spurs (for now)
It wouldn’t be a build up to a national tournament for England without their talisman struggling through an injury to try and get fit, so it was Harry Kane who took on that role this year. A lot of this could come down to a Spurs side who are seemingly in free fall with Jose Mourinho working his “magic”. That means it’s possible that Kane might look to move somewhere else this Summer, but at least he will get another season to get fit and possibly even learn to play in a new system, which could always be useful for Gareth Southgate.
Dean Henderson – Man United/Sheffield United
Every England keeper goes through a phase of looking incredible before it all goes wrong, it happened with Joe Hart and Jack Butland, while Jordan Pickford is going through a similar phase. Dean Henderson is still in that phase where he’s impressing everyone and continues to develop, so EURO 2021 could be ideal for him. He would need to either take over from David de Gea or go out on loan again and have an impressive campaign, but it’s easy to see him pushing for that spot between the sticks.
Jack Grealish – Aston Villa
Grealish could be faced with a big choice next season, even if Aston Villa don’t go down. He’s clearly a stand out player in a smaller team, with the ability to change a game. The problem might be that Southgate will want to see him do that for a bigger side, but he might get the chance to do that. It will then depend if he’s still able to shine once he moves rather than becoming just another player at a big side. He will need to choose carefully, but this might play right into his hands.
Joe Gomez – Liverpool
England went through a spell of having a lot of stand out centre-backs – Gary Cahill, Harry Maguire, Michael Keane, John Stones, Kyle Walker and James Tarkowski all looked impressive, but they’ve all regressed since the last world cup. Joe Gomez looks like the main partner for Virgil van Dijk just now, so another good season could see him establish himself as first choice for England too. It also looks like Dejan Lovren might be on his way out of Anfield, so unless a big name comes in, then Gomez should get a full season to show what he can do and impress Southgate.
Of course there is always someone who appears from nowhere to make a late claim for the squad while guys like James Maddison, Todd Cantwell, Reece James, Phil Foden, Mason Greenwood and Dwight McNeill could all have great seasons and push for a spot too.