With players and coaches spending hours on the training field, the preparations for Euro 2016, which commences on the 10th of June, are in full swing.
Unfortunately, some players who looked all set to make it to France, suffered last-minute injuries. We look at five players who have actually benefited from these setbacks.
Morgan Schneiderlin (France)
The 25-year-old French midfielder had a forgettable 2015-16 season with Premier League side Manchester United after failing to zero-in on a permanent berth in Louis van Gaal’s starting line-up.
Prompted by Schneiderlin’s lack of game-time, France head-coach Didier Deschamps opted to leave out the Manchester United man and recall Lassana Diarra, who had enjoyed a fruitful campaign with French side Marseille.
57% – Manchester United’s win percentage with Morgan Schneiderlin starting (28% without). Protection.
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 20, 2016
However, just 24 hours before the deadline, Diarra suffered a knee injury which forced him to withdraw from the tournament. After spending years away from the national setup, Diarra was excited to make a return, but it wasn’t to be. However, Morgan Schneiderlin, having benefitted from Diarra’s misfortune, will not be guaranteed a starting role given the form of Leicester City’s midfield destroyer N’Golo Kante.
Hector Bellerin (Spain)
Bellerin who played a pivotal role in Arsenal’s campaign, which led to second-place finish, was one of the first names to feature in Arsene Wenger’s team-sheets on match days, in the 2015/16 season.
Apart from offering stability at the back, his contribution in the final third was also noteworthy.
However, even after putting in impressive performances at the club level, Vincente del Bosque dropped the pacey fullback from the national squad, in favour of Juanfran and Dani Carvajal.
Héctor Bellerín: Completed more successful dribbles (63) than any other defender in the Premier League this season pic.twitter.com/RaJr8RhBI8
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) May 31, 2016
Dani Carvajal, who was certain to make it to the Euros, suffered an injury in the Champions League while playing against Real Madrid’s city rivals Atletico Madrid.
After undergoing a medical examination, two days after the final, he was diagnosed with a Grade 2 hip injury, which ruled him out of the Euro 2016.
Bellerin, being the most potent replacement to Carvajal, received his first major international tournament call-up.
Leroy Sane (Germany)
Schalke’s 20-year-old starlet had a break-out 2015-16 season with the German side. Sane scored 8 goals and made 6 assists, from 23 starts in the Bundesliga. He was set to miss out on the Euros as Germany head-coach Joachim Low favoured the relatively experienced Julian Draxler over the Schalke youngster.
Leroy Sané: Has now scored or assisted more goals (10) than any other U21 player in the Bundesliga this season #S04BMG
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 18, 2016
However, Marco Reus’ toe injury ruled him out of contention from the Euros. Leading to which, Sane received the nod to join the squad. The Schalke winger, would be intent on making a name for himself in his first major tournament.
Artur Yusupov (Russia)
The most unlikely name on the list is that of Russian midfielder Artur Yusopov.
Zenit St. Petersburg’s 26-year-old player was lucky to find himself at the right place at the right time.
Remarkably, Yusupov was drafted in to the squad as he was staying in the same hotel in Monaco as the national team were, while on holiday.
He replaced the injured Igor Denisov, and according to the BBC, Yusov hadn’t carried his boots with him and had to train on borrowed equipment.
However, the defensive midfielder would certainly not be Russia’s first-choice player in the middle of the park.
Jonathan Tah (Germany)
The second German, and the most recent addition to the list is the 20-year-old Bayer Leverkusen defender Jonathan Tah. After, centre-back Antonio Rudiger was ruled out with a knee injury, Joachim Low took little time in naming Tah as a replacement for the Roma centre-back.
Jonathan Tah: Of U21 players in Europe’s top 5 leagues last season, only Mbemba & Guilbert have made more interceptions than Tah (91)
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 8, 2016
Germany are still sweating over the fitness of first-choice defensive stalwart Mats Hummels, and another injury blow has certainly given Low a headache. Tah, only 20 years old, has been termed as the ‘Next Boateng’ according to Bleacher Report, and would be keen on putting up a show in France when called upon.