This summer will see the European Championships take place in France and in what should be a thrilling tournament, a handful of West Ham United players will be hoping to feature as their nations battle to lift the trophy in Paris come July.
Andy Carroll – England
Much has been made of Andy Carroll’s England chances for this summer. The powerful striker has been affected by injuries time and again and as such, has been limited to just nine caps for the Three Lions.
Now he appears to have dropped down the pecking order due to the emergence of a few new striking stars at Roy Hodgson’s disposal.
The meteoric rises of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have been well documented and they will both now be seen as definites for Hodgson’s squad, so Carroll will have to put in some sterling performances before the end of the season if he is to get on the plane ahead of fit-again duo Danny Welbeck and Daniel Sturridge.
Darren Randolph – Republic of Ireland
Darren Randolph may be West Ham’s second choice goalkeeper, and he may well have been the Republic of Ireland’s back-up choice for quite some time, but a few vital displays in qualifying may well give the former Charlton Athletic man the nod between the sticks as the Boys in Green face Sweden in their first match of the tournament on June 13.
Randolph was the man whose long ball assisted Shane Long for his famous winner in the 1-0 victory over Germany, and he was the man between the sticks in both legs of the nation’s qualifying play-off win over Bosnia-Herzegovina back in November.
Joey O’Brien – Republic of Ireland
It may well seem that the Republic of Ireland international door has been closed on Joey O’Brien. The former Bolton Wanderers man has made just five caps for the Emerald Isle and despite his versatility, he has been used very sparingly
With no appearances for the Hammers this season, it would appear that O’Brien needs a miracle if he is to get on the plane to France, but if he can force his way into the side and put in a few good performances between now and the end of the season, his ability to play in a few different positions could persuade Martin O’Neill to include him in his squad this summer.
James Collins – Wales
Although the influence of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey has undoubtedly been the key factor in Wales’ long-awaited qualification for an international tournament, boss Chris Coleman has to take a lot of credit for the way he has built a solid, organised defensive set-up that has led the Dragons to some excellent results in recent years, including a 1-0 win over much-fancied Belgium in qualifying.
Coleman tends to set up with three central defenders in these more difficult fixtures and with 46 caps to his name, Collins will certainly hope to be one of them.
He’s likely to start alongside Swansea City skipper Ashley Williams and the ever-reliable Chris Gunter in a wing back system.
Dimitri Payet – France
If there is a squad that it’s going to be tough to break into this summer, it’s going to be Didier Deschamps’ French squad.
One of Eurotips.com 2016 tips is for the hosts to win the tournament, which is a great indication of just how good a group of players Deschamps possesses – the question is, will Dimitri Payet be part of that group?
Former Newcastle United man Hatem Ben Arfa is looking back to his brilliant best and the likes of Mathieu Valbuena and Kingsley Coman will also provide real competition for the wide areas of the pitch, so Payet will have to continue his excellent form at the Boleyn Ground if he’s to stand any chance of starting for Les Bleus this summer.