Which Arsenal player(s) could set the Euros alight this summer?

Who’s The Gunner To Watch At The Euros? By Dan Smith

So we now know which countries will be going to the Euros and who will be playing who. We just don’t know if or how many fans will be allowed into stadiums by then. That’s even created doubts over if the tournament needs to be hosted by just the one nation.

So while we are in the middle of an international break, what better time to preview which Gunners will be represented at the European Championships?

It might be an indication of how far we have fallen that it most likely won’t be as high a number as previous years.

We had 8 players in the 2016 edition, 9 in 2012, 7 in 2008, 8 in 2004, 9 in 2000, (pre 96 Leagues were dominated by domestic players so zero-point counting).

In fact I can’t even make this a traditional Dan top 10 list. I counted that 8 is more likely and that’s being very kind.

Here I rank from worst to best which Arsenal player could most likely steal the show next summer.

UEFA are carrying on this horrible rule that you could qualify for the knockout stages by finishing 3rd in a group of 4. It means you could potentially advance with one win. It also maximises the chances of our players appearing in the later rounds.

8-Cedric – Portugal
I’m being kind here but before an injury at Southampton he was part of the Portuguese squad (plus I need the numbers!).

To no-ones surprise, settling for playing in the occasional cup tie at Arsenal has not helped his international ambitions.

When his country won the Euros 4 years ago, he started in every knockout round apart from the Final. This time he probably needs Portugal to get an injury at right back to get selected, but if he does, don’t be shocked if he gets another winners medal. As things stand, I’m putting my tenner on the Portuguese to win the whole thing.

7-Leno – Germany
The way some gooners have over-praised our keeper since he arrived in English Football, you might have assumed he would have been his country’s number one by the time the Euros rolled around. In reality he’s miles behind Manuel Neuer and Stegen.

He couldn’t have timed for a worse season to lose his form. He should be worried that even in the Nations League Kevin Trapp was picked ahead of him. He needs to improve to even make the squad.

Next time you hear someone say he’s one of the best in Europe, just point out he’s not even one of the best in his own country

6-Maitland Niles – England
Versatility will help his chances of making Gareth Southgate’s final squad. Yet England are blessed with options at left and right back, and if he’s only a makeshift full back for his club why would he be anything else for his country?

He has ambitions to eventually play in midfield but can’t break into one of the worst Arsenal midfields in recent years so it’s unlikely he would for the Three Lions. The fact that he can play in numerous positions might give him an advantage.

5-Bellerin – Spain
In midweek Hector Bellerin played his first game for Spain in 4 years. You would think us fans would be proud of the full back for overcoming a couple of serious injuries to get back to a level where he’s getting international recognition? Yet I have never seen some gooners so less supportive than some have been towards one of our own players winning his 5th cap.

He’s in his managers mind but needs to do more to be a starter. Would be interesting to see how he plays with better players though.

4- Xhaka – Switzerland
It seemed that Arteta had fixed the player’s relationship with our fanbase. Maybe for the first time gooners appreciated tactically what the midfielder did for us?

Murmurings have started again after 4 defeats in 8 League games, with his name often brought up as an example of average talent being overpaid. In his homeland though he is celebrated, one of the first players the Switzerland media will seek out for his opinion.

He was made Swiss captain earlier this year so will 100 percent play against Italy, Turkey and Wales. Quite a turnaround considering where he was 12 months ago.

3-Saka – England
He was man of the match against Ireland, although that was viewed as England’s second choice team. If Saka starts against Belgium, that would be an indication that his manager trusts him.

Unfortunately, Southgate seems very selective on youngsters. Some he trusts, some he doesn’t. How, for example, does Grealish not make his first 11?

I think under a different coach, Saka could be one to watch in this competition, but it could be right place, right time, wrong boss?

2-Ceballos – Spain
At the back end of last season Arteta got the best out of Ceballos by dropping him deeper. That’s kind of undermined his reputation in Spain where he’s viewed as one of the nation’s top youngsters.

Everyone was buzzing about his performances when winning the Under 21 Euros, but he was playing further forward. If though there is a Gooner who could put himself in the shop window it could be him.

1-Tierney – Scotland
The irony is that Scotland have waited years for a world class player and now have two in the same position ahead of the Euros.

He’s shown for us though he has the footballing brain to start in the middle but time when it’s appropriate to bomb down the flank. With respect though, does his teammate have the understanding to do the same?

It might be better for Clarke to play Tierney on the right where he can also play. British fans know how good he is, but this could be the moment the rest of Europe learns it. Could he be Arsenal’s biggest star at the Euros?

Okay that was more depressing than I thought it would be when I started. Let’s be honest, I’m being generous with those 8. Some might not even make their squads – let alone start.

I would say only Xhaka and Tierney would 100 per cent to start for their countries at these Euros.

That’s shows how far we have fallen. Gone are the days where we made up the entire French team.

Of course there is every chance another player steps up, hits a purple patch and gets a call up.

If I revisit this at the end of the season and there are more names on this list than that, it means our campaign has gone well.

If you can think of anyone else that could impress at the Euros, put them in the comments…


Tags Euros Saka tierney Xhaka


  1. You call Tierney world class,I would say he’s solid but WC not Even close yet ,seeing Bellerin as been our best full back this last month but gets no praise .
    Also I can’t agree with you on Leno Dan ,you say loss of form but wouldn’t you say the whole team have lost something .
    Fans seem to forget how good he’s been since he joined and before he got injured because everyone jumped on the bandwagon with Martinez now Leno is crap .
    And Ceballos at 2 ,personally wouldn’t even have him anywhere near the top ,he’s been a big disappointment for me ,played about 4 good games in 14 months ,I would be surprised if he gets any playing time at the Euros

    1. Hey mate
      I don’t think Leno is crap just not as good as some have made out over the last couple of years
      I do promise that’s been my opinion for a while , not based on martinez
      Not saying he’s bad just never got the hype

      I agree with Tierney – world class was wrong word to use

    2. I can assure you Dankit that Ceballos will definitely start for spain at the euros and I also want agree with Dan on Leno, he’s good but not even in the top 5 in the country, I will pick Southampton Macthy (not sure if I get the spellings right) Leicester Schmeichel, man city Ederson, Liverpool Allison and David de Gea and Martinez ahead of him and that’s being generous. All those keepers are examples of what a complete keeper should look like.

  2. Simply on your question ‘Which Arsenal player(s) can set the Euros alight this summer?’ C’mon Dan, you know the answer. We do not have a player who can set the Euros alight. Someone may accidently set themselves alight, and become a burnt offering to the football gods, but we definitely do not have a player who can set anybody on fire with their play. We are a bog ordinary team and as I think back to Ramsey, Jack, Rosicky, Sanchez, I realise what a pathetic style of football we are being asked to play by our manager which leads to imagination deficient footballers, and in reality directed that way by Arteta…so really I can’t even blame the players. Pep can push, push, push, because he inspires and his players believe him….and most importantly are top players and have imagination and skill. Arteta is trying to be a Pep clone except it doesn’t work with our players.
    So that this is not misinterpreted……. I support Arteta, but that does not mean I cannot see his deficiencies. Life is not black and white, life is full of shades. We think and feel with creative freedom. We don’t just become Arteta in, Arteta out, we are hopefully able to reason and articulate. Hopefully Arteta will grow and change….it takes time. If you watch us play though, the deficiencies can be seen with great transparency.

    1. This article is about arsenal players and the euro but once again you find a way to involve the coach, well done.

      1. The whole point of this site is to opine. All you do is criticise others who are giving their opinions on Just Arsenal. You are pathetic.

      2. @lenohappy, bec everything is connected world class players don’t just become world class players on their own they the manager has a big part to play in their development. Where is our manager MA either benches or shifts the talented player out of the team and any attack minded player who is left is not allowed to show his skills and play with freedom to create something. It feels like MA has got a rule in club now anyone who tries to be creative or plays attractive attacking football will get a fine…two months wages.

  3. Simple answer none. If you are not biased and see things as neutral none our players are going to set alight any tournament. One because the quality we have and second the donkey hard working coaching they are been given at the moment. Where they are not allowed to express them selve and just run up n done the pitch. Bec if it was talent we preferred then you would have seen more of ozil, MG and Martenelli as well when he was fit even to some extend Pepe as well but know MA wants hard working avg talents in his team, on top of that his tactics does not allow anyone to express him self actually does opposite just run and make sure you don’t let other team to score even bloody attack minded players play like defenders now. To all the Ozil haters…go n watch what Arsenal best even manager Wenger and one of the best ever player Tony Adam are staying about ozil, All the neutral fans agree with them even other team supporters who acknowledge the strength of the opponent but I don’t know why some brain dead Arsenal fan pundits don’t get it. We deserve to be where we are because of our fan base who I bet would be really happy if Tony pulis will walk through the door after MA sack because after all his team’s punch above their weight with that deardful foot ball and all we want as arsenal fan is dread full football, draws at agisnt big 6, one goal wins from corners or set pirce, no creativity and no player in team who can make you just say wow with his skills n tricks.

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