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Euro 2024: Five under-the-radar players to watch this summer

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The age of the internet has perhaps brought an end to the days when footballers would be catapulted from complete unknowns to household names at major tournaments.

However, this summer’s European Championship will provide a platform for several lesser-known names to place themselves in the consciousness of the wider world. We’ve picked out five players to keep an eye on at Euro 2024.

Sebastian Szymański – Poland

Fenerbahce won the race to sign Sebastian Szymański from Dynamo Moscow last summer, following the midfielder’s successful – and Eredivisie-winning – campaign on loan at Feyenoord in 2022-23. The Turkish team have reaped the reward of their €9.75m investment with Szymański one of the stars of the Süper Lig season.

The 25-year-old scored 13 goals and laid on 19 assists in all competitions for Fenerbahce, as the Istanbul outfit won a club-record 99 points in the Süper Lig – though still missed out on the title.

60 – Sebastian Szymanski🇵🇱 won the second most tackles in the Turkish Süper Lig 2023-24 (58) and was one of just two players with 60+ shots, 60+ created chances and 50+ won tackles in the European top 10 competitions. #EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/bAQ4WPiJaE

— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 13, 2024

His performances have seen North London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham linked and Szymański could help ease the burden on Robert Lewandowski and Piotr Zieliński for Poland this summer.

Brian Brobbey – Netherlands

The Netherlands lack the elite centre-forwards of past teams heading in Euro 2024 but Brian Brobbey will be hoping to reach that level. The 22-year-old arrives into the tournament as the most in-form forward among Ronald Koeman’s options, following a season of evolution at Ajax.

Brobbey scored 22 goals in all competitions despite a difficult season for Ajax, to earn the Rinus Michels award as the club’s Player of the Season. Capped just once for the Dutch before the squad announcement, he has been included with neither Memphis Depay nor Wout Weghorst enjoying productive domestic seasons.

10 – Brian Brobbey (9 goals, 4 assists) is the first @AFCAjax player to be directly involved in a goal in ten consecutive @eredivisie matches since Dusan Tadic in September 2019 (also 10). Output. pic.twitter.com/r69hRPcInE

— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) January 21, 2024

The opportunity is there for Brobbey, who has a prolific record for the Dutch at youth level. He scored 16 goals in 24 appearances for the u-17 side and won back-to-back u-17 European Championships in 2018 and 2019.

Lazar Samardzic – Serbia

Lazar Samardzic was born in Berlin and represented Germany up to u-21 level, before pledging his international allegiance to Serbia. He has since won nine caps and could feature in his nation’s opening fixture against England on Sunday.

The 22-year-old is a creative midfielder and scored six times for Udinese in Serie A this season, having come close to a transfer to Inter Milan the previous summer. Interest is again high in Samardzic, who has been dubbed the heir to Dusan Tadic with the national team, and a strong tournament could see his price tag rise with Borussia Dortmund and Juventus keen.

90+13:33. The latest #SerieA goal since 2004/05 courtesy of Lazar Samardžić ⚽️#UdineseEmpoli pic.twitter.com/QLU391RXPO

— Lega Serie A (@SerieA_EN) May 22, 2024

Martin Baturina – Croatia

Croatia have produced some elite midfielders across the last two decades and Martin Baturina is the next talent off the production line.

The 21-year-old’s technical excellence and comfort in tight spaces have seen him unsurprisingly dubbed the ‘next Luka Modric’ and Baturina will hope to learn from the Ballon d’Or winner at this summer’s finals.

186 – Martin Baturina 🇭🇷 was involved in 186 shot-ending sequences of play in the Croatian top-flight last season; the most of any player in the division. Complete. #OnesToWatch #EURO2024 pic.twitter.com/l1D4yfvhHX

— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 5, 2024

He scored eight goals in all competitions as Dinamo Zagreb won a seventh consecutive league title in 2023-24 and it would surprise many if he was still around when the transfer window closes.

Joao Neves – Portugal

Benfica have slapped a €120m (£101.3m) release clause in the contract of Joao Neves and there’s firm belief in Lisbon that that figure could be met. The 19-year-old has been a revelation since breaking into the Benfica team and made 55 appearances in all competitions in 2023-24, earning the Primeira Liga Midfielder of the Month award five times throughout the season.

Liverpool are said to be leading the chase for the midfielder, who looks set to be the next player to earn Benfica a bank-breaking windfall. He’s already won seven senior caps for Portugal despite the competition in Roberto Martinez’s midfield and looks set for a huge future.

João Neves 🎬🤩 #SLBGVFC • #LigaPortugal | #EASPORTSFC pic.twitter.com/NSXgdo06nT

— SL Benfica (@slbenfica_en) February 4, 2024

Read – The players at Euro 2024 with the most international caps

See more – The favourites to win the Euro 2024 Player of the Tournament award

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