The England and Wales players who could benefit from Euro 2020 postponement
The year-long delay to the European Championships due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak will be seen by the majority as a disappointment.
But for some, the enforced postponement could present an opportunity to be involved in the finals next summer with their participation having initially been in doubt.
Here, the PA news agency looks at the players from qualified home nations England and Wales who could now feature at Euro 2021.
The serious hamstring injury suffered by the Tottenham striker saw Kane’s chances of leading England into the European Championships take a huge blow. He is back in light training now but would have faced a fight to be fit for the Three Lions opener in June.
With Kane potentially sidelined, eyes turned to Manchester United forward Rashford for the big hope of being England’s first-choice striker at the finals. But, after suffering a double stress fracture in his back, the 22-year-old had his own battle to be available to Gareth Southgate.
While Rashford’s injury may have opened the door to an unexpected senior call-up for team-mate Greenwood, his lack of experience would likely have seen the 18-year-old overlooked this summer, Now, though, the highly-rated forward has another 12 months to hone his craft.
Yet another England striker who has been struggling with injury is Chelsea’s Abraham. A number of niggling injuries have curtailed what started as a fine season at Stamford Bridge but he will now be hoping for an uninterrupted run-up to the rearranged finals.
A bright spark in a fairly ordinary season for Arsenal has been the form of England youth international Saka. Capped at under-19 level, the winger has found himself operating at left-back for the Gunners and has shone in the role – if he can keep his place at club level he may yet have an outside chance of doing enough to demand the attention of Southgate.
Allen was ruled out of Euro 2020 after rupturing his Achilles playing for Stoke on March 7. The 30-year-old midfielder, who was named in the official Euro 2016 team of the tournament and is integral to the way Wales operate, now has time to get fit for the rescheduled European Championship.
It was touch-and-go whether the Liverpool full-back had enough time to force his way into Ryan Giggs’ Euro 2020 squad after just a handful of impressive first-team performances. But the 18-year-old could now really push his case in the next 12 months, be it getting more game-time at Anfield or going out on loan.
Brooks has missed the entire campaign after undergoing ankle surgery in August. The exciting Bournemouth forward is training again but was in a race against time to be 100 per cent for Euro 2020. The tournament’s delay should allow Brooks to recapture the form that made him one of the Premier League’s brightest talents in 2018-19.
The West Brom striker recently made himself available again for Wales after retiring from international football in August 2018 to focus on his club career. A recall this summer was unlikely as Giggs was set to keep faith with the players who secured qualification, but the 30-year-old now has more time to reintegrate himself into the squad.
The 19-year-old Swansea central defender made his league debut in November and has been a revelation. Time was not on Cabango’s side this summer, but another season of first-team football could propel him onto the international stage. There has even been talk of a future Wales partnership with his Swansea team-mate Joe Rodon.