Kevin de Bruyne thinks England are favorites to win Euro 2020
Yeah, you heard that right. Apparently, Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne thinks England are favorites to win the Euro 2020. He argues that the rise of young players like Phil Foden and Callum Hudson-Odoi has the potential to make the Three Lions one of the favourites for next summer’s European Championship. Well, I’ll admit… England’s World Cup progress last year was certainly unexpected, at least up until the semi-final with Croatia when Mandzukic’s late goal had ended up the Three Lions’ dreams of “taking the trophy back home”, while one of the smallest country enjoyed a historic final, totally overcoming their performance during the Golden Generation of 1998, when they actually stopped in the semi-finals with a generation led by Davor Suker, Zvonimir Boban, Robert Jarni, Slaven Bilic, etc. However, England has been needing a strong reconstruction for a while if it seriously eyes some big trophies, and this World Cup only served as a proof for it. These players have much more room to grow, so saying they’re suddenly favorites to win an European Championship might be taking things a bit too far.
And coincidentally, Foden was making his first Premier League start for City on the same night as Hudson-Odoi did the same for Chelsea. Given both Manchester City and Chelsea’s reputations as “plastic teams”, it’s refreshing to see these sort of teams actually gave their youngsters a chance before selling them off somewhere, as it usually happens with most young players who happen to reach the senior team of a Premier League club and they’re kept for one or two years before they’re loaned and eventually sold off for good, it’s quite something to see some are finally given a chance before they can be discharged from the club in the first place. Whereas Hudson-Odoi has made his England debut, playing the recent internationals against the Czech Republic and Montenegro, Foden is yet to receive a call-up.
De Bruyne sees no reason for England manager Gareth Southgate to rush the 18-year-old, however. “Give him time,” the Belgian said. “It’s not because you play some games, and start a game, that you have to go into the national team. “If he is in someone else will have to drop out – top teams are like that. “Southgate will do what he needs to do and if Phil progresses well he has a chance to go to the Euros next year. He will play enough games for England.” Even though he is advising to show caution with young talent for now, De Bruyne believes England are well placed for success over the coming decade. The 2018 World Cup was England’s best in 28 years, even though it ended in defeat to De Bruyne’s Belgium in the third-place playoff.
The two sides could meet again at the Euros next year but De Bruyne fancies England, more than his home country, to win the tournament outright. “I told the England guys a week ago that you should win the Euros. I think they are favourites, with France,” he said. “I see the guys already established, and those coming up, so the future looks really good. “Will they win it? I don’t know, because only one team can win it but you have a chance to do well in the next ten years.”