Sports fans using new online casinos USA will be aware that the European Championship has been delayed by 12 months until the summer of 2021, but that could be good news for Portugal. Manager Fernando Santos is blessed with several young and talented players that appear ready to break through and make an impact at the tournament.
No Seleção fan will forget the crucial roles played by Renato Sanches, João Mário and Raphaël Guerreiro in the Euro 2016 triumph, who were 18, 23 and 22 years old respectively at the time. Here are six players who will be aiming to make a similar impact when Portugal defend the trophy in one year’s time.
Diogo Jota is the most likely to become a regular starter after another highly productive season with Wolverhampton Wanderers in the Premier League. The 23-year-old is a little different from other forwards in and around the national set-up, swapping flair and agility with a determination, balance, and strength that enables him to hold off defenders and make things happen in the final third.
Jota has only made two appearances for Portugal, but he could be a perfect foil for Cristian Ronaldo at Euro 2021 next summer. The former Porto player is also a threat in front of goal having netted 32 times in 107 appearances for Wolves during the last three seasons. Another solid campaign should be enough to secure Jota a place in the squad, but with the likes of João Félix and André Silva in advanced positions, he might need a stellar season to persuade Santos he is deserving of a starting role.
Another Wolves player, Daniel Podence, will also hope to break into the Portuguese set-up during the next 12 months. Still, he faces a more difficult task than Jota after a challenging start to life in the Premier League. The 24-year-old has made just five appearances since moving from Olympiakos in a £16.9m deal in January.
Podence is a gifted winger, as evidenced by his excellent displays with the Greek side earlier in the season. He scored against Spurs in the Champions League and was a regular provider of assists. He has received an international call-up but has yet to make his debut for the senior Portugal team, having made nine appearances for the U21s. Podence will need a great 2020/21 season to earn a place in the squad ahead of other attacking talents.
Dubbed the ‘Portuguese Mbappe,’ Rafael Leão is pushing for an international call up after a solid debut season with AC Milan in Serie A. Leão can play anywhere across the front three but arguably excels as a centre-forward where his strong six-foot two-inch physique and incredible pace allows him to pull off the shoulder of central defenders.
The 21-year-old does need to improve his return in front of goal, having scored only five times in 25 appearances for Milan in 2019/20, albeit most of those matches were from the substitutes’ bench. However, another eye-catching campaign in Italy’s top division could…