After failing to qualify for two straight major tournaments – Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup – Netherlands have had quite an exciting few years under Ronald Koeman. Now that he has left to manage Barcelona, under manager Frank de Boer, The Dutch, grouped with Austria, North Macedonia and Ukraine, will be looking to go deep into the tournament. However, that won’t be an easy task for the Oranje. The below visualisation shows the key players from each team in Group C.
NOTE: DATA FOR THIS VISUAL WAS COLLECTED ON 5TH MAY, 2021
Owen Wijndal (Netherlands):
Owen Wijndal is currently one of Europe’s most exciting full backs. Linked with some of the top teams in Europe in recent times, Wijndal plays for AZ Alkmaar of the Dutch Eredivisie. The left-back is one of the most creative full backs in the league as is evident in his assist numbers. He is in the 77th percentile for assists, 86th percentile for expected assists and 82nd percentile for key passes. Having made his senior international debut only last year, Wijndal has grown to be a key member of this Dutch squad and he is one of the players to watch out for this tournament.
Eljif Elmas (North Macedonia):
It will be a proud moment for Eljif Elmas and North Macedonia when they walk out for the first time in a major tournament. Elmas, who plays in midfield for Napoli in the Serie A, has not played frequently this season. However, his experience of playing in one of Europe’s top five leagues could be valuable to his country. He sure is one of the players to watch out for in this North Macedonian team.
Saša Kalajdžić (Austria):
Saša Kalajdžić could not have asked for a better individual season in the Bundesliga 2020/21. The 23-year-old center-forward playing for VFB Stuttgart scored 16 goals and ended up as the sixth highest scorer in the league. As seen in the visual above, Kalajdžić has a bit of creativity as well in his locker, with the forward ranking above average for xA, key passes and dribbles. Having made his debut towards the end of last year, Saša Kalajdžić will be one of the key players to watch out for in this year’s tournament.
Viktor Tsygankov (Ukraine):
Viktor Tsygankov is the second highest scorer in the league this season with 12 goals to his name. The 23 year old Ukranian, playing for FC Dynamo Kyiv, is also quite a creator as shown in the visual above. Ukraine are known to have caused some notable upsets in the past and if they are to repeat any of those, they need Tsygankov to step up.