Five players who could make international debuts this month - Kobbie Mainoo Manchester United
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Five players who could make international debuts this month

The international break offers a chance for teams to finalise their preparations ahead of a huge summer, with the European Championship and Copa America set to take centre stage in the summer months.

Though most managers will have a clear idea of their plans for the upcoming finals, there is still time for wildcard options to force a route into the final squads. March’s international break has brought call-ups for several untried talents and we’ve looked at five players who could make international debuts in the upcoming schedule.

Five players who could make international debuts this month:

Anthony Gordon

Anthony Gordon’s reward for a fine first full season at Newcastle has been a maiden England call, with the winger included in the squad for March’s fixtures with Brazil and Belgium.

Gordon has starred for the national team at youth level and was awarded the Player of the Tournament as England’s u-21 side won the European Championship last summer. He scored twice during that tournament and excelled in a false nine role, with his versatility across the frontline adding to his appeal for Gareth Southgate.

Full of endeavour and directness, Gordon had added an improved end product to his game this season. The 23-year-old has scored nine times in the Premier League and laid on a further five assists, often offering spark in a Newcastle team that has lacked consistency.

Competition is fierce for a place in the England squad in a wide role, with the more experienced Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, Phil Foden, Jarrod Bowen and Cole Palmer options in the current selection, while Jack Grealish is sidelined through injury. Gordon will need to make the most of a potential audition this month to stake a claim for Euro 2024.

Pau Cubarsi

La Masia continues to produce talent and Pau Cubarsi is the latest off Barcelona’s production line. The centre-back has cemented a role in the club’s senior side of late and impressed as the Spaniards beat Napoli to reach the Champions League quarter-finals this month.

Cubarsi was named man of the match as Barcelona won 3-1 at Camp Nou to progress, having become the youngest player to debut in the competition’s knockout phase, aged 17 years and 50 days.

The teenager’s composure and expansive passing range are exceptional for a footballer with just 13 senior appearances, with his instant impact having seen Cubarsi touted as the long-term heir to Gerard Pique.

He has effortlessly integrated into the Barcelona side, contributing to a run of four clean sheets in the last five games. Such has been his level, he has bypassed several age groups to link up with Luis de la Fuente’s senior Spain squad this month.

Maximilian Beier

Germany have named an inexperienced squad for this month’s fixtures with France and the Netherlands, with six uncapped players selected in Julian Nagelsmann’s squad. Euro 2024’s host nation have endured a challenging preparation for a home tournament, winning just three of their last 11 internationals. November’s break brought back-to-back defeats to Turkey and Austria and Nagelsmann has sought to add freshness to the squad this month.

The most exciting inclusion is Maximilian Beier, who has had a breakthrough season at Hoffenheim. Several Premier League clubs – including Liverpool – are understood to have checked in on the 21-year-old, who has scored 12 league goals and provided a further five assists.

Only Cole Palmer and Jude Bellingham have been involved in more goals among u-21 players in Europe’s top five leagues and Beier will look to break into Germany’s plans ahead of the summer. With Tottenham forward Timo Werner left out of the latest squad, the in-form forward has a chance to stake his claim for involvement at the European Championship.

Deniz Undav, who has scored 15 goals on loan at Stuttgart from Brighton, is also among the uncapped contingent, alongside Alexander Pavlovic, Maximilian Mittelstädt, Jan-Niklas Beste and Waldemar Anton.

Kobbie Mainoo

Kobbie Mainoo was initially overlooked for a first England call-up this month, but a starring performance in Manchester United’s FA Cup win over Liverpool has persuaded Gareth Southgate to promote the teenager into the senior set-up.

Mainoo has made a big impression since making his first Manchester United start at Everton in November, becoming a central figure in Erik ten Hag’s team. The Stockport-born teenager has made 20 appearances in all competitions, with his cool under pressure, press resistance and maturity impressing.

England lack in-form options to partner Declan Rice in central midfield and Southgate has often preferred a two-man defensive pivot. Mainoo has the chance to audition for the role this month against elite opposition, as England face Brazil and Belgium. He has handled each step in his fledgling career to date.

Galeno

Brazil have named an experimental squad selection for March’s international break, as the Selecao look to get back on track after a disappointing start to World Cup qualification. The five-time world champions have lost three consecutive games in South American qualification, ahead of friendlies with England and Spain this month.

New head coach Dorival Junior has named 11 uncapped players in his squad, including Porto winger Galeno. The 26-year-old has been in excellent form for the Portuguese side this season, scoring 13 goals and providing nine assists.

He caught the eye during Porto’s run to the last 16 of the Champions League with five goals, including a stoppage-time winner against Arsenal at The Estádio do Dragão.

There will be a new debutant in goal with all three goalkeepers uncapped in the absence of Alisson and Ederson, while Girona winger Savio – who will join Manchester City in the summer – is also in line for a debut.

Read – Every unbeaten season in Europe’s top five leagues

See more – The most points won in a single season across Europe’s top five leagues

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