10 players Man Utd should scout at Euro 2024

  • Man Utd primarily seeking a striker, midfielder & centre-back this summer
  • Euro 2024 will serve as a huge shop window for clubs everywhere
  • Benjamin Sesko, Joao Neves & Niclas Fullkrug are just some of the options
Two highly-rated young players
Two highly-rated young players / Sebastian El-Saqqa - firo sportphoto/Contributor and Carlos Rodrigues / Stringer

Manchester Unted are no strangers to bringing in new players off the back of a major international tournament, with this summer's Euro 2024 the latest opportunity to get a good look at potential signings and how they fare on the biggest stage.

Nearly 30 years ago, Czech Republic winger Karel Poborsky joined United after an outstanding Euro '96, while Jordi Cruyff also arrived after impressing for the Netherlands. Two years later, Sir Alex Ferguson got his hands on long-term target Jaap Stam after the 1998 World Cup.

Fabien Barthez was actually signed shortly before Euro 2000 began, although his performances for France at the World Cup two years earlier had certainly helped raise his profile.

Even Rio Ferdinand seemed to underline United's assessment of his potential after shining for England at the World Cup in 2002. A deal for Owen Hargreaves was then pursued in 2006 after he was named England's best player at that year's World Cup, even though it took almost another 12 months to come to an agreement with Bayern Munich over the transfer fee.

More recently, Daley Blind enjoyed a breakout tournament for the Netherlands as they finished third at the 2014 World Cup and he soon followed Louis van Gaal to Manchester. The same tournament had brought Argentina's Marcos Rojo to the Old Trafford club's attention.

Then, when United landed Sofyan Amrabat on loan last summer, it was after the midfielder had made a name for himself at the 2022 World Cup with Morocco a few months earlier.

This summer, United’s biggest recruitment priorities lies in the centre of defence, the centre of midfield and up front, although opportunities to strengthen other areas could arise too.

1. Goncalo Inacio

Goncalo Inacio
Goncalo Inacio is a star of the future / Diogo Cardoso/GettyImages

Country: Portugal
Club: Sporting CP
Position: Centre-back

Goncalo Inacio is only 22 but has already played almost 200 career games for club and country, with two league titles and two league cups during that time. There is talk of a £51m release clause in his contract, a figure that Sporting CP are seemingly not prepared to budge on.

Benfica's Antonio Silva, himself only 20, is another Liga Portugal centre-back being monitored by some of Europe's biggest clubs and seemingly destined for big things. Inacio and Silva almost certainly won't start together, with Ruben Dias one of the first names on the Portugal teamsheet, so only one of them will likely play regularly during the tournament.

There hasn't been much to split them in the eyes of Roberto Martinez.

2. Josip Sutalo

Josip Sutalo
Josip Sutalo has risen to prominence / Gualter Fatia/GettyImages

Country: Croatia
Club: Ajax
Position: Centre-back

As Croatia continue to usher in a new generation of players, Josip Sutalo has firmly established himself at the heart of the defence. The 24-year-old appeared only once at the 2022 World Cup - the third place playoff, which typically sees little or unused squad players given the chance to be involved - but has been a regular presence when fit ever since.

Sutalo initially enjoyed plenty of success in Croatian football with domestic giants Dinamo Zagreb, before venturing abroad last summer to Ajax, where his importance became increasingly apparent over time. He shares that common ground with Erik ten Hag but has never played for the Dutchman.

3. Milos Kerkez

Milos Kerkez
Milos Kerkez has already impressed in the Premier League / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Country: Hungary
Club: Bournemouth
Position: Left-back

Left-back has been a problem position for United over the past 12 months, with Luke Shaw missing big chunks of 2023/24 and Tyrell Malacia unavailable for all of it. The club cannot really afford another campaign in which various other players are shoehorned in as cover, making a new left-back to provide additional competition a smart long-term move.

Links with Milos Kerkez are already established after his impressive development with Bournemouth, but taking a look at the 20-year-old in an environment outside the Premier League is equally important, especially with Europa League and Champions League football the required level.

4. Joao Neves

Joao Neves
Joao Neves has earned rave reviews / Carlos Rodrigues/GettyImages

Country: Portugal
Club: Benfica
Position: Centre midfield

United have generally done pretty well with Portuguese players and Benfica midfielder Joao Neves, just 19, has been identified as the country's next big talent. He's already played 75 times at club level and could be about to break out on the international stage as well.

What's more, Bruno Fernandes is a firm admirer of the youngster.

"He's an excellent player and an excellent kid, very professional. He will have a bright future wherever he goes," the skipper said back in November. "I would really like him by my side. Because he has quality and will have a bright future. It depends on him. What I want most is the best for him."

5. Georgiy Sudakov

Georgiy Sudakov
Georgiy Sudakov will be the next big Ukrainian export / SOPA Images/GettyImages

Country: Ukraine
Club: Shakhtar Donetsk
Position: Centre midfield

Following Mykhailo Mudryk's 2023 move to Chelsea, the next big transfer out of Shakhtar Donetsk is expected to be midfielder Georgiy Sudakov. The pair are close friends, but plenty of clubs are interested in the 21-year-old.

Sudakov, whose Shakhtar contract was renewed as recently as February until 2028, has effectively been undroppable for Ukraine since the start of last year and, while still raw, proved himself a big game player by assisting both goals that secured his country their place at Euro 2024.

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6. Benjamin Sesko

Benjamin Sesko
Benjamin Sesko will face England this summer / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Country: Slovenia
Club: RB Leipzig
Position: Striker

Benjamin Sesko's immediate club future may be secure upon signing a new contract with RB Leipzig, but his fresh deal came with an informal agreement to allow him to move in the summer of 2025.

Arsenal and Chelsea have both also been tracking the 21-year-old striker, responsible for 14 Bundesliga goals this past season. He filled the void left by Erling Haaland at Red Bull Salzburg and has even been likened to the Norwegian thanks to his height, speed, aerial threat and finishing ability.

7. Maximilian Beier

Maximilian Beier
Maximilian Beier is Germany's future / Markus Gilliar - GES Sportfoto/GettyImages

Country: Gemany
Club: Hoffenheim
Position: Striker

Only four players scored more Bundesliga goals than Maximilian Beier in 2023/24, with the 21-year-old racking up 16 for a Hoffenheim side that finished a modest seventh - all those above him were at top four clubs.

Beier is certainly raw at this point but possesses considerable potential and general enthusiasm. He was uncapped when he was named in Germany's final squad but was as inch away from scoring with his first touch on his debut in a friendly against Ukraine when a shot struck the inside of the post.

This kid could end up being the hosts' secret weapon.

8. Joshua Zirkzee

Joshua Zirkzee
Joshua Zirkzee is a late Netherlands call-up / BSR Agency/GettyImages

Country: Netherlands
Club: Bologna
Position: Striker

Joshua Zirkzee didn't think he was going to Euro 2024 until Teun Koopmeiners had to pull out of the Netherlands squad through injury. He is uncapped at this level, but the 23-year-old who previously came through the youth ranks at Bayern Munich now has an incredible opportunity.

The 2023/24 season saw Zirkzee score 11 times in Serie A for Bologna, who finished fifth in the final standings to qualify for the Champions League for the first time since 60 years and Europe in general for the first time in 24.

9. Ante Budimir

Ante Budimir
Ante Budimir could provide cheap cover / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Country: Croatia
Club: Osasuna
Position: Striker

Although United continue to be linked with young developing strikers, it has also been suggested the club might actually prefer an older and more experienced player to complement and support Rasmus Hojlund rather than directly compete with him for minutes.

At 32, Ante Budimir is certinaly not a long-term option but could provide important squad depth for two or three years. The Croatian is a late bloomer coming off the back of the best season of his career after scoring 17 goals in La Liga for mid-table Osasuna. Even before then, the target man had been consistent, if not particularly prolific, in Spain since 2019.

10. Niclas Fullkrug

Niclas Fullkrug has already impressed in the Champions League
Niclas Fullkrug has already impressed in the Champions League / ANP/GettyImages

Country: Germany
Club: Borussia Dortmund
Position: Striker

Plenty saw Niclas Fullkrug shine for Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this past season. The 31-year-old, a potentially superb foil for the aforementioned Hojlund, is constantly on the front foot, wants to win every ball and is a lethal finisher given the chance.

Fullkrug is another late bloomer, playing in Germany's second tier as recently as 2021/22 and not making his international debut until days before the last World Cup. Although mainly seen as an impact substitute at this level, which is arguably what United would prefer in terms of fleshing their squad, his record since stands at almost a goal per game.