Premier League names travelled across the world to represent their nations during September’s international break, with some of English football’s biggest stars shining in the colours of their nation.
Here are six Premier League players who impressed during the international break:
Bruno Fernandes has developed into a talismanic figure for Portugal, despite the presence of Cristiano Ronaldo in the national team, and continued his excellent recent record for his country during September’s international break.
Fernandes has now produced 16 goals and assists in his last 11 games for Portugal, following a productive period for Roberto Martinez’s side. Portugal can secure qualification for next summer’s European Championship during October’s break, after back-to-back wins this month.
Fernandes scored the only goal of the game as Portugal won 1-0 in Slovakia, before the Manchester United midfielder orchestrated a record-breaking win against Luxembourg. The 29-year-old scored one and created three goals as Portugal romped to a 9-0 win, one which maintained their perfect record in qualification and set a new record for the nation’s biggest ever victory.
No player has been directly involved in more Euro 2024 qualifying goals than Bruno Fernandes.
The maestro in the middle 🎶 pic.twitter.com/ksquNVLJv0
— ESPN UK (@ESPNUK) September 12, 2023
Fernandes has more assists (5) and more goal involvements (9) than any other player so far in Euro 2024 qualifiers.
Darwin Nunez headed into the international break back in the Liverpool side and back in form, having scored two goals and provided two assists in wins over Newcastle and Aston Villa.
The Uruguayan continued that form with the national side as South America’s gruelling World Cup qualification process began this month. Uruguay opened their campaign with a 3-1 win over Chile, one which saw Nunez provide two assists.
The 24-year-old was replaced at half time in Uruguay’s 2-1 defeat to Ecuador in their following fixture, with head coach Marcelo Bielsa revealing the striker had “some muscular difficulties” after his performance against Chile.
— Selección Uruguaya (@Uruguay) September 8, 2023
Liverpool will hope the issue is nothing serious, with promising signs from Nunez in recent weeks as the forward looks to fulfil his potential at Anfield.
Cole Palmer will hope his summer move to Chelsea can lead to increased opportunities in the Premier League and the forward continued an encouraging start to the season on international duty this week.
Palmer was the architect of a comfortable win for England u21s against Luxembourg as Lee Carsley’s side began the defence of the Under-21 European Championship with a 3-0 qualification win.
Palmer set up debutant and ex-Manchester City teammate Liam Delap to open the scoring, before scoring England’s third goal with a fierce effort that crashed in off the crossbar.
Cold from Cole 🥶
— England (@England) September 11, 2023
The potential is clear with the 21-year-old, with Mauricio Pochettino sent a message that he is ready for regular involvement at Stamford Bridge.
Konstantinos Mavropanos’ arrival at West Ham went somewhat under the radar given the club’s exciting midfield rebuild, but the centre-back could prove to be a fine signing for David Moyes’ side.
The ex-Arsenal youngster has evolved across the last three seasons in the Bundesliga, where he led the division for percentage of aerial duels won and clearances in 2021/22 and for interceptions last season.
The 25-year-old scored eight goals across the last two seasons for Stuttgart and showcased his aerial threat on international duty this week, scoring his first two goals for Greece in the nation’s 5-0 win over Gibraltar.
🇬🇷 Konstantinos Mavropanos vs Gibraltar:
⚽ Goals – 2
🏹 Shots – 4
🎯 Pass success rate – 93.7%
☄️ Accurate long balls – 7
👥 Aerial wins – 3
🔥 WS Rating – 8.93 pic.twitter.com/mH6T6W90RD
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) September 11, 2023
Fellow recruit James Ward-Prowse has an inviting new target to aim at.
Scott McTominay might be struggling to get a kick at Manchester United right now, but the midfielder remains irreplaceable to Scotland.
McTominay opened the scoring as Scotland continued their flawless record in Euro 2024 qualification with a 3-0 win in Cyprus, his sixth goal of the campaign so far.
The 26-year-old is the joint-leading scorer in qualification for the tournament and added an assist after teeing up John McGinn for the visitor’s third in Larnaca.
— Scotland National Team (@ScotlandNT) September 9, 2023
McTominay has often been criticised during his club career, but he has found his role with Scotland as a marauding midfield presence. Erik ten Hag could do worse than reassess his view on the midfielder, given Manchester United’s issues in the engine room so far this season.
Scotland, meanwhile, are five from five in qualification ahead of a showdown with second-placed Spain next month.
Lewis Dunk was recalled to the England squad for the first time in four-and-a-half years in June, but was frustratingly forced to pull out of that squad through injury.
Dunk was included once again for September’s break and made his second appearance for the Three Lions, having debuted in 2018, against Scotland at Hampden Park. In an area of the pitch where Gareth Southgate’s options have often failed to convince, the Brighton centre-back was outstanding in all areas.
Superb tonight, Lewis Dunk! 👍 pic.twitter.com/zulk9HiA2c
— England (@England) September 12, 2023
Dunk led the contest for completed passes (92), forward passes (28), touches (106), aerial duels won (4) and headed clearances (3), in a performance which will have given Southgate something to think about ahead of next summer’s European Championship.
The 31-year-old mixes no-nonsense defending – including an excellent block to deny Aaron Hickey – with composure and cool in possession, a footballer who has thrived under the demands of Roberto De Zerbi at Brighton.