Saturday, June 22, 2024

Euro 2024 LIVE: England players land in Germany, Robertson fitness update

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Bellingham checks in

Finally, England’s Champions League winner Jude Bellingham joined up with the rest of his teammates at St George’s Park last night ahead of the Three Lions setting off for Germany.

The 20-year-old enjoyed a stellar campaign in Spain as he helped Los Blancos win LaLiga and become kings of Europe.

He’s already a huge fan-favourite due to his knack for scoring late and important goals, and he will be a key player for Gareth Southgate.

Bellingham played no part in the 3-0 win over Bosnia and 1-0 defeat to Iceland because he was given some extra time off after playing in the Champions League final at the start of the month.

But he’s refreshed and ready to try and lead the Three Lions to glory.

Credit: Getty

You’ll have to do better than that

talkSPORT understands that Fulham have rejected Bayern Munich’s first offer for midfielder Joao Palhinha.

The defensive midfielder has been on the Bundesliga giant’s radar for a long time, and they’ve offered around £30 million, which has been turned down.

The Cottagers are under no pressure to sell and are looking for £50m to part ways with Palhinha.

The former Sporting Lisbon midfielder is a part of Portugal’s Euro 2024 squad and is likely to stat for Roberto Martinez’s men at the base of the midfield.

He excels in breaking up play, which should create plenty of space for Bruno Fernandes and Bernardo Silva.

Of course, he would be keen on joining Bayern, but with the tournament about to get underway, he might have to wait until the end to complete any potential transfer.

Should be on the plane

England’s number one goalkeeper for the entirety of the Gareth Southgate reign has been Jordan Pickford.

The Everton shot-stopper has rarely let his country down and delivered several top performances in big tournaments for the Three Lions.

However, Graeme Souness believes that the England boss has left his best goalkeeper behind, but it’s probably not who you would expect.

Of the English goalkeepers to miss out, Nick Pope looked the obvious choice because of his shot-stopping and sweeping ability.

But the Newcastle goalkeeper has just returned from a dislocated shoulder, which explains why he isn’t on the plane and Souness thinks Jack Butland should have been in the England squad.

The Rangers goalkeeper enjoyed a terrific year north of the border and the former Liverpool man believes Southgate missed a trick not taking him.

In his Daily Mail column, he said: “Gareth has also been very loyal to Jordan Pickford, which I can understand, but, for me, there is another goalkeeper who should be going to the tournament.

“I’ve watched Jack Butland several times playing for Rangers this season, and he is the best English goalkeeper around. I’m surprised he hasn’t earned a place.”

Credit: Getty

Shambolic start

Well, Scotland’s injury woes keep mounting ahead of the opener against Germany on Friday.

Andrew Robertson and Lawrence Shankland have both been forced off in training this morning.

The Tartan Army have already lost Lydon Dykes for the tournament due to a freak injury and now they have concerns over Robertson and Shankland.

Robertson is one of Scotland’s best players and a key member of Steve Clarke’s set up, while Shankland is just one of two strikers in the squad.

If this proves to be a bad injury, Che Adams will start by default in the tournament opener.

Incredibly, Scotland’s kit man Aidan Mcllduff had to step in at left-back in place of Robertson.

 

Kane insists Iceland was ‘wake-up call’

England captain Harry Kane is very confident the Three Lions can win the whole thing despite a shock 1-0 defeat to Iceland.

Gareth Southgate’s side ended their preparations for Euro 2024 with a dismal loss at Wembley to a team who didn’t even qualify for the European Championships.

England were booed off at the end of the match, but Kane is trying to take the positives from it.

Speaking to The Times, he said: “Sometimes you need this wake-up call. There are areas we need to improve, especially with our pressure.

“The group games are going to be very similar to this. We are going to have to defend well, especially the longer balls, and with the ball we need to be a bit more patient.

“We fell below our standards without the ball and that is something we have to review and get better with. It goes back to [the issue of being] without the ball that we need to improve.

“There probably was not enough hunger in the duels, in the second balls and winning those. They are a big, important part when you are playing these teams, to sustain the pressure and really suffocate them.

“We are going in there as one of the favourites and that is a responsibility that we have to take forward now, because we have earned the right to be there.

“We will never take it for granted. I have said many times to judge us on the tournament form, on the tournament football.

“Of course, there will be some noise about [Iceland], but I think there is a lot of optimism from the fans and rightly so.

“Ultimately, it is down to us to make sure we get it right on the pitch. This could be a nice wake-up call for everyone to realise it is not going to be as easy as people think.”

Credit: Getty

Mbappe injury scare

Reports in France suggest that Kylian Mbappe is struggling with a back and knee problems ahead of Euro 2024.

The forward only played 15 minutes as a substitute of Les Bleus’ 0-0 draw with Canada on Sunday evening.

After the game, he told reporters that he was fine, saying “It is going very well” when asked about any potential injury.

The forward suffered a blow in training last week, which left him with some significant bruising on his knee, leading to Didier Deschamps leaving him out of his starting XI.

The manager didn’t think it would be worth the risk, and we’ll have to see what happens this week before France get their tournament underway against Austria.

Credit: Getty

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