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Friday, April 19, 2024

Premier League players who impressed during the international break

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Premier League players were in action across the globe during March’s international break, producing eye-catching performances in the colours of their countries.

We’ve looked at some of the Premier League players who impressed during the international break.

Youri Tielemans

Youri Tielemans scored twice in Belgium’s 2-2 draw with England, as the Aston Villa midfielder shone in an advanced midfield position.

Tielemans opened the scoring at Wembley – the scene of his 2021 FA Cup final winner for Leicester – after capitalising on a mistake from Jordan Pickford, drilling in a low left-footed finish from the edge of the area after the England goalkeeper squandered possession.

The 26-year-old scored a second as Belgium took a lead into half-time, arriving at the back post to nod in Romelu Lukaku’s outside-of-the-boot cross to restore the visitor’s advantage.

Youri Tielemans 🤝 Scoring at Wembley #BBCFootball pic.twitter.com/72I3yGfHom

— Match of the Day (@BBCMOTD) March 26, 2024

After a disappointing Belgian performance in the goalless draw with Ireland last week, this was better from Domenico Tedesco’s side with Tielemans at the heart of it.

Rodri

After sitting out Spain’s 1-0 defeat to Colombia in their first fixture of the break, Rodri returned to the side for the thrilling 3-3 draw with Brazil at the Bernabeu.

The Manchester City midfielder was immaculate in possession as he completed 94.9% of his passes and 8/8 long balls, whilst winning six defensive duels. Rodri – captain on the night for La Roja – also scored twice, converting two emphatic penalties after taking responsibility from the spot.

2 – Rodri Hernandez is only the second player to score two penalty goals for the Spain 🇪🇸 national team in the same match in all competitions since at least September 2006, the first since Sergio Ramos in a friendly against Russia 🇷🇺 in 2017. Captain. pic.twitter.com/5UQ1LUWtER

— OptaJose (@OptaJose) March 26, 2024

The best in the business in a defensive midfield role, he is arguably the sole world-class talent in the Spanish squad right now.

Noni Madueke

Noni Madueke will be hoping that Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino has kept a close eye on the international break after two excellent outings for England’s u-21 side.

The winger scored in the 5-1 rout of Azerbaijan, before a starring role as Lee Carsley’s side humiliated Luxembourg 7-0 in their second fixture.

Madueke scored twice and provided two assists in an emphatic win for the European champions, who have scored 32 goals in their seven fixtures in qualification for the 2025 tournament.

Harvey Elliott

Liverpool midfielder Harvey Elliott was also outstanding for England over the two games, scoring twice against Azerbaijan before notching a pair of assists as Luxembourg were routed.

The 20-year-old was perhaps an unfortunate omission from the senior squad after a strong run of form for Liverpool, with two goals and six assists in his last 10 club appearances in all competitions.

There’s a sense that Elliott has already outgrown u-21 level, after a run of sparkling performances for the Young Lions. He now has 22 goal contributions (10 goals and 12 assists) for club and country this season.

Harvey Elliott that is filthy 🤌pic.twitter.com/UQWLdZrqT1

— The Redmen TV (@TheRedmenTV) March 26, 2024

Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes orchestrated an impressive win for Portugal this month as Roberto Martinez’s side swept aside Sweden.

The Manchester United midfielder scored one and created another in the 5-2 win over the Scandinavians, in the latest effective performance of an underrated individual campaign.

Fernandes leads Europe’s top five leagues for shot-creating actions (162) and key passes (82) and remains the creative spark of the Portugal team at international level.

The winning run of Martinez’s reign came to an end as a rotated team – in the absence of Fernandes – lost to Slovenia on Tuesday, but Portugal will enter this summer’s tournament with real ambitions of claiming the trophy.

Mykhailo Mudryk

Mykhailo Mudryk bounced back from a challenging campaign at Chelsea to deliver a huge moment and book Ukraine’s place at Euro 2024.

Ukraine fell behind to a brilliant goal from Albert Gudmundsson but responded well to beat Iceland and earn their spot at this summer’s showpiece in Germany. Viktor Tsygankov cut inside to drill in a low finish to level before Mudryk’s moment arrived with six minutes to go.

Mykhailo Mudryk’s 84th-minute winner against Iceland sent Ukraine through to #EURO2024 👊 pic.twitter.com/fjFGHRqJs4

— Premier League (@premierleague) March 27, 2024

The 23-year-old swept in a finish from Georgiy Sudakov’s cut-back to send Serhiy Rebrov’s side through. Ukraine – who will compete in a first major tournament since Russia’s invasion of the country – will go into Group E at Euro 2024, alongside Belgium, Slovakia and Romania.

Kobbie Mainoo

Is Kobbie Mainoo ready for international football? The early evidence certainly suggests so.

Mainoo made his England debut as a substitute against Brazil this month and looked unfazed when arriving off the bench against the five-time world champions. Handed his first start against Belgium in the following fixture, he departed the pitch in possession of the man-of-the-match award at Wembley.

Jude Bellingham knows Kobbie Mainoo is destined for BIG things ✨ pic.twitter.com/82b0JQZfvA

— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) March 27, 2024

There is something special about the Manchester United teenager, who has shown no signs of being overawed at any stage of his senior career to date. Calm and effective in possession, his poise and ability to evade pressure have placed him in contention to not only travel to, but to start, at Euro 2024 in Gareth Southgate’s midfield. His first appearances for England were hugely encouraging.

Read – Winners and losers from England’s March internationals

See more – Ranking the five best goalkeepers in the world right now

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