Despite boasting the best squad on paper, it won’t be easy for Gareth Southgate’s England in the European Championship group phase. Not only will they come up against some excellent players, but many of their opponents will have the added motivation of putting in a strong performance against England, hoping that could lead to potential transfer interest from bigger clubs after the tournament.
One of the watching clubs could well be Manchester United who have made their intentions clear that they intend to improve the squad over this summer.
A key area that they’re looking to add further quality to is the attack. Therefore with that in mind, we’ve highlighted three hot prospects set to take on England across the next few weeks who could well attract the interest of United officials.
Adam Hlozek – Czech Republic – 18
Hlozek has been attracting interest from the likes of Liverpool and Bayern Munich, and frankly, it’s easy to see why.
The teenager netted a standout 18 goals across all competitions for Sparta Prague last season, including scoring four goals in 45 minutes on the final day of the season. He only played 1815 minutes in the campaign, meaning that goal total breaks down to an impressive average of 0.74 goals per 90.
On top of that, he also registered an impressive eight assists plus four second assists – this being the pass before the final pass leading to the goal.
Despite his age, he stands at an imposing 6ft1in making him the ideal targetman to spearhead his team’s attack, and although his impressive numbers have come in the unremarkable environment of the Czech Republic’s first division, impressive displays in this summer’s Euros could indicate he’s ready to make the step up to a top European league.
Luka Ivanusec – Croatia – 22
What initially stands out about Ivanusec is his versatility. This season for Dinamo Zagreb he has played on both sides in the centre of midfield, on both flanks and as an attacking midfielder.
That is testament to his technical ability, with the 22-year-old possessing excellent close control which is aided by his comfort using both feet.
He’s quick, nimble and excellent at driving his team up the pitch, utilising both quick feet and impressive dribbling skill. Last season, he averaged just over three progressive runs and just under five dribbles per 90. Only Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood could better that dribbling average at United.
He also chipped in with a handy 12 goal contributions for his team too.
While far from being the finished article, the attacker’s capacity to operate in number of different roles to a high level at a relatively young age does make him an appealing prospect and certainly one to keep an eye on.
Josip Brekalo – Croatia – 22
Just like last season, United are being tipped to pursue Borussia Dortmund’s Jadan Sancho this summer.
However, another Bundesliga attacker that they could take a closer look at in the coming weeks is Wolfsburg’s Brekalo.
A product of Dinamo Zagreb’s youth academy which nurtured talents such as Luka Modric, Brekalo has already featured in over 100 Bundesliga matches and won 23 caps for his country.
The 5ft9in attacker can play on the left, right and through the middle of an attack. He boasts plenty of pace, has nifty feet and provides plenty of threat in the final third. He’s already directly contributed to 37 goals since making the switch to Germany four years ago.
His ceiling probably isn’t as high as Sancho’s, yet what he’s illustrated already during his short career at senior level suggests he could go on to be a top European talent.