If wasn’t for Portugal’s Renato Sanches, Breel Embolo would be the centre of the best-players-under-20 conversation in the Euros.
Pundits and fans alike have clamoured over Portugal’s heir to Cristiano Ronaldo’s throne, Sanches. The 18-year-old phenomenon recently signed a lucrative deal with Bayern Munich.
Embolo’s ascent has gone less noticed, though it shouldn’t be discounted. The 19-year-old attacker scored 31 goals and passed for 22 assists in 90 appearances for FC Basel, as he helped the squad win three straight Swiss titles.
His production has created interest from Premier League titans Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham. United has recently emerged as the clear favourites.
In Switzerland’s 1-0 triumph over Albania, Embolo subbed in and immediately impacted the game. He didn’t find the net, but he forced two yellow cards. Embolo carries many of the traits necessary in a quality striker: his work rate is endless, he is a skilled tactician with the ball and can create scoring chances at any touch.
In Switzerland’s opening game, he showed great potential. On one play, Embolo retreated into the defensive third, stole the ball and perfectly counter-attacked Albania. He distributed a beautiful pass behind the Albania defence for a breakaway opportunity, which should have resulted in a goal.
In other plays, Embolo’s inexperience was evident, as he is still learning how to play against disciplined defenders. He lost the ball multiple times trying to dribble through congested areas.
Regardless, his Euro debut was encouraging. Embolo can help Switzerland advance to the knockout stages and beyond if he continues to impact the game like he did on July 11.
Soon enough, he will do the same on the Premier League circuit. Would he be a good signing for United?