As the famous saying goes, “attack wins you matches, defence wins you trophies”. There won’t be a bigger trophy at stake when 24 European countries will battle it out for the bragging rights over the continent.
Here are 3 centre backs which will make the headlines this summer:
1) Ruben Dias: Arguably the transfer of the Premier League season, Ruben Dias has been sensational for the Citizens.
He was signed at the same time when Leicester thumped Man City 5-2 and after his addition to the line-up, their backline was solid as ever.
He went on to win the Football Writers’ Player of the Season award, which is rarely awarded to a defender. He will hope to translate his club form over to his national team, where his side will be trying to win the tournament for a second time in a row.
2) Aymeric Laporte: Aymeric Laporte is another world class Manchester City centre back on this 3-man list. While he didn’t have the same impact this season as Dias, his performances will be closely monitored as he has changed his nationality.
The French-born defender will be representing Spain as he is frustrated by the lack of opportunities given to him by Didier Deschamps. Spain will be without their talisman Sergio Ramos this summer, which increases Laporte’s importance to the team as he is clearly the best defender they have in Ramos’ absence.
3) Stefan de Vrij: Virgil van Dijk’s long-term injury crashed Liverpool’s hope for any sort of silverware this season. The Dutch captain will be missed in their backline, but Netherlands is blessed with quality options like de Ligt and de Vrij.
In the recently concluded Serie A campaign, de Vrij was one of the stand out defenders as he won the Scudetto. As he is older than de Ligt, he will be given the responsibility to martial the backline. Stefan de Vrij is more than capable of being a rock at the back. His importance to the side this summer cannot be overstated.