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Five players who could benefit from the postponement of Euro 2020

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Yesterday, Uefa announced that Euro 2020 will be postponed until next summer due to the current coronavirus pandemic. The international tournament, scheduled to take place between 12th June and 12th July, will now be held between 11th June and 11th July in 2021. 

This postponement, however disappointing it may be for football fans worldwide, is a necessity considering the rising severity of this unprecedented situation. While it is frustrating, it is also completely understandable and does now offer the chance for each of Europe’s domestic leagues to be completed throughout the summer, when football is eventually able to resume. 

Currently, all football across the continent has been grounded until further notice, with the Premier League and EFL’s projected return on April 3 likely to be pushed back substantially following Thursday’s crunch meeting between top-flight chiefs. 

Indeed, by moving the European Championships, Uefa now has a clash with the Women's European Championship, which is due to be held in England in 2021 - scheduled to start on July 7th.

The Nations League and the European under-21 Championships are also scheduled to take place next summer. Uefa said all three events will be "rescheduled accordingly", but it is currently unclear if that involves minor tweaks to dates, or large-scale postponements.

Suspending Euro 2020 until 2021 has brought with it one positive, however - the opportunity for some of the country’s rising stars to break into the senior set-up ahead of next summer’s competition. 

With England manager Gareth Southgate a matter of weeks away from selecting his provisional 25-man squad for Euro 2020, a number of young players looked as though they would narrowly miss out on selection. 

But, with another 14 months until the European Championships, there is now plenty of time for a number of young players to prove themselves worthy of international selection next year, while other shoo-ins for this summer's tournament will be fighting desperately to keep their place.

BettingOdds.com have taken a look at five players who could actually benefit from the tournament’s postponement and break into the squad for Euro 2021. 

Phil Foden - Manchester City

Manchester City’s teenage superstar Phil Foden had been mooted as a late contender for selection after his dazzling display in the Carabao Cup final last month, but with so many other talented individuals ahead of him in the Three Lions’ attacking-midfielder pecking order, obtaining his first senior cap this summer looked as if it would be a bridge too far. 

The 19-year-old was priced at 7/2 to receive a call-up prior to Uefa’s announcement regarding the tournament’s postponement on Tuesday - he has now drifted to 6/4 to be selected for Euro 2021. Of course, this will all depend on whether Foden sees a significant increase in game-time at club level next season - the main thing which has hindered his chances of a senior call-up so far. 

However, with club legend David Silva retiring at the end of the campaign many feel as though Foden will slot right in as the Spaniards’ replacement at the Etihad, which would massively help him and his chances for senior international selection.

Callum Hudson-Odoi - Chelsea

Elsewhere, Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi has also seen his price to make England’s squad for Euro 2021 drastically cut from 10/1 to 4/1. 

The Blues forward burst onto the scene towards the end of last season and obtained his first full international cap this time last year, featuring from the substitutes bench during England’s 5-0 win over the Czech Republic at Wembley.

Since making his debut last March, the teenager has played twice more for the Three Lions, but has seen his campaign this time around massively hampered by a severe achilles injury sustained at the end of the 2018-19 campaign, thus affecting his appearances at international level. 

Upon returning to fitness back in late September, though, Hudson-Odoi has been an important figure for Chelsea in their quest for a top-four finish in the Premier League - providing three goals and five assists in all competitions for the west London outfit. 

Another injury blow ensued for the teen back in February, however, causing him to miss a further six matches, which effectively ended his chances of an international call-up for this summer’s European Championships.

However, now that the tournament has been pushed back a year, the 19-year-old has every chance of breaking back into Gareth Southgate’s plans should he remain fit and avoid any further serious injury setbacks. 

Brandon Williams - Manchester United

Manchester United defender Brandon Williams is another player who has recently come to the fore in the top-flight. The 19-year-old left-back has impressed for the Red Devils since making his first-team debut back in October, putting in several Man of the Match performances for his boyhood club; scoring once and assisting twice in all competitions.

Williams has seen his odds slashed from 10/1 to 4/1 after this week’s news regarding the postponement of Euro 2020 and, when you consider the lack of concrete options Gareth Southgate has available to him at left-back, it must be said that United’s rising starlet could well be a future England regular, should he manage to retain the level of performance he has demonstrated so far.

Bukayo Saka - Arsenal

The same can be said for Bukayo Saka, Arsenal’s marauding left wing-back who has also endured an extremely positive campaign this time out. Since making his first-team debut for the north London club back in September, Saka has posed a constant threat on the Gunners’ left flank, scoring three goals whilst providing a further nine assists in all competitions. 

Saka’s pace, positional sense and crossing ability have all aided Arsenal in the attacking-third this season, with many now calling for the youngster to be considered for international selection, despite him yet featuring for England’s under-21s. 

Much like Foden and Williams, Euro 2020 would have probably come too soon for Saka, with a more experienced defender likely chosen as back-up to Ben Chilwell in the form of either Danny Rose or Luke Shaw. 

Indeed, with a full season ahead of him - alongside the remainder of this one - providing Saka with the perfect opportunity to cement his name in Arsenal’s starting XI and hopefully into the mindset of Gareth Southgate, the teenager should be excited by his potential international prospects. Saka has been cut from 6/1 to 9/2 to be selected for England’s Euro 2021 squad, though it is highly likely that we will see that price shorten sooner rather than later.

Kalvin Phillips - Leeds United

Finally, there is a strong case to be built around Leeds United’s defensive-midfield maestro Kalvin Phillips. Unlike the rest of the players in this list, Phillips has not risen through the ranks at international level and is unproven in the Premier League; at 24, he is also slightly older than the aforementioned names. However, with a stark lack of options available in holding midfield, Southgate may look to the Whites protector when choosing his future squads. 

Phillips has been outstanding for Leeds this term, frequently showing that he is a cut above Championship level. Beyond Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson, England don’t really have another player who you’d consider to be a shoo-in for the holding ‘pivot’ role in central midfield. Before this season started, you may have counted West Ham’s Declan Rice in the same bracket at Henderson, but the 21-year-old has failed to reach the heights he did last season this time around.

Phillips is undoubtedly a much more left-field selection due to his lack of experience at international level, but you’d struggle to find anyone disagreeing with the fact that he perhaps deserves his shot considering his performances this term. 

The Leeds midfielder has been slashed from 15/2 to 6/1 to make England’s squad for Euro 2021 and, given the fact that he’ll almost definitely be playing Premier League football next season - for Leeds or elsewhere - those odds do seem to offer some good value.

To make England #Euro2021 squad odds...

- Phil Foden: 7/2 ➡️ 6/4
- Brandon Williams: 10/1 ➡️ 4/1
- Callum Hudson-Odoi: 4/1 ➡️ 5/4
- Bukayo Saka: 6/1 ➡️ 9/2
- Kalvin Phillips: 15/2 ➡️ 6/1 🦁🦁🦁#ThreeLions pic.twitter.com/p9ql27SDUE

— BettingOdds (@BettingOddsUK) March 17, 2020
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