Quick guide to the U21 Euros – and 8 players Liverpool will be watching

Europe’s youngsters are taking to the pitch in the European Under-21 Championship this summer, and there is plenty of Liverpool interest.

The quadrennial tournament is back this summer and there is plenty of reason to watch if you’re a Liverpool supporter.

Georgia and Romania are this year’s hosts, despite lying more than 1,000 miles apart.

It all gets under way on June 21 so we’ve provided this quick guide for you to digest.


When is it?

England's Curtis Jones during the UEFA Euro 2021 Under-21 Qualifying Group 3 match at Molineux, Wolverhampton. ( Mike Egerton/PA Wire/PA Images)

The competition begins on June 21 and lasts 17 days, taking place across eight venues in five host cities.

The final will go ahead on July 8 at the Adjarabet Arena, Batumi in Georgia, and the knockout stages begin July 1.

This means if any of Liverpool’s players were to get out their group, they would miss the start of the Reds’ pre-season, which should start on the day of the final.


What is the format?

2NGHBM9 Paris, France - February 14: Ryan Gravenberch of Bayern Munchen thanks supporters for standing during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 leg one match between Paris Saint-Germain and FC Bayern Munchen at Parc des Princes on February 14, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images) (Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Just Pictures/Sipa USA)

There are 16 teams involved, making up four groups of four.

The top two from each will go through to the quarter-finals where each group winner will play a runner-up.

From there, the victors will play in the semi-finals, then the final at the 20,000-capacity Adjarabet Arena.


How can I watch?

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Wednesday, June 24, 2020: LFC.TV camera operator Miles Fitzpatrick during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace FC at Anfield. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Sky Sports and the BBC have both opted against showing the tournament.

As a result, no UK broadcasters have will air the competition on television, so it will instead be available to stream at UEFA TV for free.


So, who is involved?

SHEFFIELD, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 27, 2022: England's Harvey Elliott during the International friendly between England Under-21’s and Germany Under-21’s at Bramall Lane. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Curtis Jones & Harvey Elliott – England

The Liverpool duo will have high hopes of going far in the competition.

Forming part of a close England squad, that also includes Anthony Gordon, Emile Smith Rowe and Jacob Ramsey, they are among the pre-tournament favourites.

Levi Colwill, whom Liverpool are reportedly interested in, will also be in action for the team.

England fixtures:

• Czech Republic vs. England – 5pm (BST), June 22
• England vs. Israel – 5pm, June 25
• England vs. Germany – 5pm, June 28


Vitezslav Jaros – Czech Republic

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, October 17, 2020: Liverpool’s goalkeeper Jaros Vitezslav during the pre-match warm-up before the FA Premier League match between Everton FC and Liverpool FC, the 237th Merseyside Derby, at Goodison Park. The game was played behind closed doors due to the UK government’s social distancing laws during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. The game ended in a 2-2 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool goalkeeper Vitezslav Jaros will get the chance to make a name for himself at the tournament.

Due to injury for their usual first-choice ‘keeper, Matej Kovar, Liverpool’s shotstopper will likely be the Czech Republic’s No. 1 against England, despite playing just 13 times for Stockport County while on loan last season.

Czech Republic fixtures:

• Czech Republic vs. England – 5pm (BST), June 22
• Czech Republic vs. Germany – 5pm, June 25
• Israel vs. Czech Republic – 5pm, June 28


Gabri Veiga – Spain

2PP7CPC Madrid, Spain. 22nd Apr, 2023. Gabri Veiga of RC Celta de Vigo during the La Liga match between Real Madrid and RC Celta played at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium on April 22, 2023 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Cesar Cebolla/PRESSIN) Credit: PRESSINPHOTO SPORTS AGENCY/Alamy Live News

The tournament also offers an opportunity for some amateur scouting as supporters can catch a glimpse of some of the names linked to Liverpool.

Reports in recent weeks suggested Liverpool were in “advanced talks” for the midfielder, Gabri Veiga, but it has all gone quiet on that front.

An impressive showing this summer, though, could reignite the rumours of a £35 million move.

Spain fixtures:

• Romania vs. Spain – 7.45pm, June 21
• Spain vs. Croatia – 7.45pm, June 24
• Spain vs. Ukraine – 7.45pm, June 27


Khephren Thuram & Manu Kone – France

This French pair could line up alongside each other, competing for the status of Liverpool’s top transfer target.

Both are exciting prospects in midfield, but Thuram offers more going forwards and seems the more likely to move to Liverpool, after a journalist called Kone’s move “unlikely.”

France fixtures:

• France vs. Italy – 7.45pm, June 22
• Norway vs. France – 7.45pm, June 25
• Switzerland vs. France – 7.45pm, June 28


Micky van de Ven & Ryan Gravenberch – Netherlands

2K32W4A LEUVEN, BELGIUM - SEPTEMBER 23: Micky van de Ven of Netherlands U21 prior to the Friendly Game match between Belgium U21 and Netherlands U21 at the King Power At Den Dreef Stadion on September 23, 2022 in Leuven, Belgium (Photo by Joris Verwijst/Orange Pictures)

After not playing much football this season, Ryan Gravenberch will be hoping to impress his Bayern Munich manager and potential suitors, when he takes to the pitch as one of the biggest names at the Euros.

Centre-back Micky van de Ven, who is “quite high up” on Liverpool’s transfer list, will also be playing, but not next to Sepp van den Berg.

The Reds’ defender had to pull out of the squad due to injury.

Netherlands fixtures:

• Belgium vs. Netherlands – 5pm, June 21
• Portugal vs. Netherlands – 5pm, June 24
• Netherlands vs. Georgia – 5pm, June 27