Goalkeepers from Premier League Lower Sides who cut the EURO 2024 Squad

Several goalkeepers from the clubs in the bottom half of the Premier League final standings in 2023/24 still cut EURO 2024.

The Premier League has been the elite domestic league in the world for years. When players, especially goalkeepers, manage to seal a spot in the lineup and continue to be the first choice in the EPL club, then they certainly deserve a place in the national team’s final squad for a major tournament like EURO 2024. Such does not only apply to the shot-stoppers from the Premier League top teams but also to the ones playing for the mid- or lower-table sides.

The England national team is one of them. They still count on Jordan Pickford between the sticks, despite having Arsenal’s Aaron Ramsdale and Crystal Palace’s Dean Henderson. Pickford has been the key player in The Three Lions since the 2018 FIFA World Cup. His experience in major tournaments and mentality in the big game deserves special credit, despite only playing for the minnow, Everton. The Toffees only finished 15th last season, which was lower than Crystal Palace (10th) and Arsenal (2nd).

Pickford is, as a matter of fact, not the only one who has been called up for EURO 2024. Here are the other goalies from the Premier League sides finishing in the bottom half of the table in the 2023–24 season.

Bart Verbruggen (Brighton)

The current Brighton shot-stopper has just been named as the number-one goalkeeper for the Netherlands national team. De Oranje boss Ronald Koeman seems to be impressed by his form last season with The Seagulls. Despite missing out on the top ten and the European spot, Brighton counts on him more in their 2023–24 campaign. The 21-year-old featured in 27 games in all competitions, including three games in the Europa League, with seven clean sheets. One of his notable performances was when he made seven saves in the clash against Newcastle United on the road, which helped his team secure one point.

Verbruggen has just made seven appearances in international fixtures and, surprisingly, has never played in the Eredivisie yet. He previously played for Belgian giant Anderlecht before moving to England. His last Dutch club was NAC Breda, a team in the second tier of the Dutch football league system in the 2019–20 season. EURO 2024 is the first major international tournament in his career.

Mark Flekken (Brentford)

Mark Flekken is supposedly Verbruggen’s senior. He is ten years older and has had long experience in the Bundesliga. Yet, the former Duisburg and SC Freiburg goalie shares similarities with his junior. Both just switched sides to the Premier League in the summer of 2023, have only been capped seven times for the national team, and have never played in the Dutch top flight.

Nevertheless, Flekken’s form in Brentford proves that he only deserves the second choice in the pecking order during EURO 2024, which is also the first major international competition in his career. He made 38 appearances for the Bees but only managed to keep clean sheets in seven games. No wonder that Thomas Frank’s side only finished in the lower table last season. Yet, his most notable form in the 2023–24 campaign was the game against Brighton. Both shared spoils in a stalemate, but he was named the man of the match with six saves.

Thomas Strakosha (Brentford)

Flekken’s understudy in Brentford is Albania’s most famous goalkeeper. He has been instrumental in his nation’s success in qualifying for EURO 2024, their second in history, despite not being the first choice. One of his most notable performances in the EURO 2024 qualifiers was when he helped Albania thump Robert Lewandowski’s Poland 2-0.

The former Lazio and Salernitana man, unfortunately, has just been given a chance to play in four games with the Bees, only two of which were in the Premier League. The goalie with 28 international caps could be handed a chance as the first choice next season if Flekken’s form falters.

Jose Sa (Wolverhampton)

Jose Sa has been a regular name on the Portugal national team since the 2017 FIFA Confederation. He was also part of the squad in the 2019 UEFA Nations League and the 2022 FIFA World Cup before EURO 2024. Yet, he has only earned two caps in international fixtures. Sa seems to be only the third choice behind FC Porto Diogo Costa and AS Roma’s Rui Patricio in Selecao das Quinas for their summer campaign in Germany.

However, the former Olympiakos shot-stopper has been the first choice for the Wolverhampton Wanderers. He joined the Wolves in the summer of 2021 and was able to bring them to 10th in the final standings in his first season, with 11 clean sheets in 40 games. His top performance has kept Wolverhampton tickets in high demand every season. Last season, Sa only made six clean sheets, which has been his lowest since signing for the Premier League side. Yet, it does not stop the 31-year-old goalkeeper from getting a call-up for EURO 2024.

Matz Sels (Nottingham Forest)

He was Nottingham Forest’s winter signing who helped them in crucial times to avoid relegation. The 32-year-old goalkeeper joined The Tricky Trees from Strasbourg and soon made an instant impact as he got a nod more than USMNT’s Matt Turner or Greece international Odysseus Vlachodimos. He featured in 16 games in the second half of the season, with the 3-1 win over Fulham and the 2-0 victory against West Ham as his most notable games throughout the season.

The former Newcastle United and Anderlecht shot-stopper made his senior debut for the Belgium national team in 2021. Yet, he has just appeared eight times in international fixtures. EURO 2024 is his first major tournament with De Rode Duivels. Yet, he is only the second fiddle after Koen Casteels between the sticks.

Thomas Kaminski (Luton Town)

Sels’s understudy, Thomas Kaminski, is currently playing for Luton, the newly promoted and relegated team in the 2023–24 season. He featured 38 times last season and only made two clean sheets, which were not enough to keep them in the top flight. Yet, such did not stop Belgium national team boss Domenico Tedesco from including him in the final squad. Kaminski just made his senior debut last March, despite regularly getting the call-up since 2013. EURO 2024 has already been his second major tournament after EURO 2020.



Photo of author

Author: Ben Burd

Published on:

Published in: