Culminating our look at the star men from each group at the upcoming Euro U21 Championships we assess Group C, where England will face France along with the less fancied Croatia and Romania.
The following are the highest rated players from each side based on performances in Europe’s top five leagues last season.
CROATIA - Duje Caleta-Car (Marseille) - 6.65
The Croatians are clearly taking the tournament seriously and in the mood to cause an upset in Group C having called up six players already capped at senior level. Marseille centre-back Caleta-Car is one of them having featured 20 times in Ligue 1 last season as well as starting five Europa League matches. The 22-year old is very strong in the air, winning 71.7 per cent of his duels last season, and as such made significantly more clearances per 90 (4.8) than any teammate.
ENGLAND - Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace) - 7.27
The subject of mega money offers in England, Wan-Bissaka will be hoping to concentrate on his football across the channel after a sensational first full season in the Palace first team. The 21-year-old ranked among the top three players in the league for both tackles and interceptions in 2018/19, averaging 3.7 and 2.4 per 90 respectively, and completed the second most dribbles of any defender (1.8 per 90).
FRANCE - Ibrahim Konate (RB Leipzig) - 7.19
Having only made his France U21 debut earlier this year 20-year old Konate will be aiming for a starting spot this summer and may face very familiar competition. The youngster displaced compatriot Dayot Upamecano in the Leipzig side for much of the season and played a strong role in the Bundesliga’s best defence. Strong in the air whilst reading the game well defensively, the Frenchman was on the winning side in 17 of 27 league starts in 2018/19, with the third placed side winning just two of the seven matches he missed.
ROMANIA - Ionut Radu (Genoa) - 6.63
Arriving at Genoa on loan from Inter over the summer, 22-year old Radu quickly took the gloves of veteran keeper Federico Marchetti after just a month of the season and didn’t let go. The youngster started 33 Serie A matches and will make his move permanent this summer following an impressive campaign. The fact that Genoa only really beat the drop by virtue of their defensive record speaks of the role Radu played in the club’s survival, averaging 3.2 saves per game - sixth of keepers to make 20 or more appearances.