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Players from lower English football Leagues playing at Euro 2024

Players from lower English football Leagues playing at Euro 2024

 

Over the years, most international football tournaments like the European Championship, have thrown up several surprises in the form of players that many people weren’t aware of. This is especially the case because many with a lower profile identify this as a stage to impress and the current Euro 2024 tournament is no different.

 

There is a misconception that most fans think that every player at international football tournaments operates in the elite leagues. However, several cases disprove this. As such, we take a look at some of the players at Euro 2024 who are at clubs in the English Football League (not the Premier League).

Liam Cooper: Leeds United and Scotland

 

The veteran centre-back, who plies his trade in England’s second tier (the Championship) was selected for Scotland and featured for his country before the Tartan Army’s exit. Making his debut in 2019, Cooper has been somewhat of a permanent fixture for his country, though at 32, this could well be his last tournament, regardless if Scotland qualifies for one again.

Giorgi Chakvetadze: Watford and Georgia

Somewhat of a surprise qualifier for Euro 2024, the Georgia squad is aided by the talents of 24-year-old Chakvetadze who is a regular fixture of Championship side Watford.

 

The midfielder made 25 appearances for his country in the run up to the tournament, scoring once and assisting on eight occasions during the qualification stage.

Callum Styles: Barnsley and Hungary

Playing at South Yorkshire side Barnsley, English-born Styles declared for Hungary in 2022 after finding out that he could qualify for their national team through his grandmother.

 

The 24-year-old defender plays in the third tier of English football (League One) and was a crucial part of Hungary’s qualifying campaign. He is also the only player in his league lucky enough to play international tournament football this summer.

 

Interestingly, should Styles still be playing for one of his former clubs, Bury, he would be one of the only non-League players to have featured at an international tournament after the club’s expulsion from the English Football League last August due to financial difficulties. The club now plays in the North West Counties League.

Okay Yokuslu: West Bromwich Albion and Turkey

The 30-year-old has been a regular for the Baggies over the last few seasons in the Championship and was selected to play for Turkey at Euro 2024, having helped to steer his country through qualification.

Turkey were drawn in a group alongside Portugal, Czech Republic and neighbours Georgia, with the defensive midfielder’s 39 caps proving invaluable to his country. 

 

Thomas Kaminski: Luton Town and Belgium

Selected as one of three goalkeepers in his country’s squad for Euro 2024, the 31-year-old plays for Luton Town, who were relegated from the Premier League last season following their maiden campaign.

 

He has one international cap to his name, though he made 115 appearances in the English Football League for Blackburn Rovers before his move to The Hatters last year.

Wout Weghorst: Burnley and Netherlands

Veteran striker Weghorst also endured relegation from the Premier League last season and is arguably the highest-profile player in this list at Euro 2024. In 34 appearances for his country, he has a respectable 12 goals to his name and is considered an effective option at the international level due to his 6’5 frame.

 

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