How Will Success in the Euros Impact on the Premier League?
June 22, 2016
While we can debate the strength and quality of the EPL in relation to other major European Leagues at length, there is no doubt that the former remains a popular destination for Europe’s top players. This is more than evident at the Euros, where the Premier League has provided 20% of all players and emerge as the dominant competition on the continent.
How many EPL Players Are Competing at Euro 2016?
In pure statistical terms, 103 players from the total of 552 have come from England’s top-flight. This is nearly double the amount provided by the much-vaunted German Bundesliga, which has supplied 57 players to the tournament across the 24 competing nations. Even more surprisingly, just 34 La Liga players have made their way to France this summer, despite the league’s status as the most coveted in the world and the fact that Spain provided three of the four finalists in the Europa League and the UCL last season.
Incredibly, a study by the Polish website Ekstrastats also calculates that the English Championship will provide 31 players in total, which is more than France’s own Ligue 1.
How Will Euro 2016 Success Impact on the EPL?
While these statistics underline the strength of the EPL and the second tier of English football, it is fair to say that success for certain sides could have a negative impact on the league. With so many players competing at the tournament, there are sure to be a high volume who reach the latter stages, with the final itself taking place on July 10th at the Stade de France.
With the Premier League season kicking-off barely four weeks later on August 13th and the pressing need for clubs to rest players in-between, this leaves very little time for those who are successful at Euro 2016 to enjoy an adequate pre-season.
Overall, 18 of the 24 competing squads at Euro 2016 include Premier League players, with Liverpool the best represented to the tune of 12 individuals. Next-up are Tottenham Hotspur, who have 11 representatives at the Euros and five included in the England squad alone. Manchester United have 10 players selected for various teams at the Championships, despite Spain’s controversial decision to omit both Juan Mata and Ander Herrera.
The result of this is that these and similarly well-represented EPL clubs could be without some of their key players when the Premier League commences in August. Those who do play may also be lacking in fitness, meaning that key decisions will need to be made in terms of which players need a rest ahead of a long and gruelling league campaign.
The Bottom Line
While this is a nice issue for the EPL to have, it is not one that manager’s approach with relish. It is also fair to say that this is a challenge that has even more meaning than ever before, with the arrival of Antonio Conte, Pep Guardiola and the irrepressible Jose Mourinho laying the foundations for the most competitive Premier League title race in living memory.