Euro: Switzerland will need Breel Embolo

Euro: Switzerland will need Breel Embolo
Euro: Switzerland will need Breel Embolo

The European Championship, the opening match of which is scheduled for June 14, is approaching. The first gathering of the Swiss team is already scheduled for May 27, in St. Gallen. By then, Murat Yakin will have made his choices. “The framework is in place, even if I still have a little room for maneuver,” slips the coach.

His main concern is offensive efficiency. Only three goals have been scored in the last five matches. Top scorer in the qualifying phase, Zeki Amdouni (6 goals), had a difficult season with Burnley, losing his starting place both for club and national team. Behind him, we find Renato Steffen and Ruben Vargas, both authors of three goals in these qualifiers.

Total confidence in Embolo

In theory, the situation is simple: Breel Embolo, the striker on whom the Nati has always been able to count on in recent years, is back on the field. With four goals in his last six caps, he has helped the team to significant successes against Spain, Czechia, Cameroon and Serbia.

However, the 27-year-old from Basel has hardly had the opportunity to play this season: after his cruciate ligament rupture, he only made four partial appearances for Monaco, with whom he nevertheless already scored a goal.

Murat Yakin is also very clear on this subject: he cannot and does not want to do without Embolo. “Breel will be present at the Euro,” he already says, provided of course that he does not suffer any physical problems during the remaining matches.

Lately, Embolo has mostly made headlines off the field. His name has appeared in trials for threats and for allegedly falsified Covid certificates. But the national coach does not want to dwell on it: “These are matters that go back a few years,” Yakin sweeps away. Embolo has now “aged and matured”, he slips, doubting that the fans’ darling can now be disdained: “As soon as he scores his first goal at the Euro, many things will be forgotten.”

Possible return of Seferovic

Murat Yakin, however, cannot afford to build a team dependent on the effectiveness of a player who has missed almost the entire season. The fact that names like Haris Seferovic or Joël Monteiro were suddenly mentioned at the last rally shows how complex the situation is.

Seferovic, however, only got half an hour of playing time during qualifying, and has not been taken into account since his departure for the United Arab Emirates in the summer of 2023. And Monteiro still does not have the Swiss passport, even if this obstacle should be overcome very quickly.

“The door has never been closed for Haris,” confirms Yakin, who keeps an eye on him as well as the other selectables. “We observe every weekend and collect data from all players.”

Haris Seferovic is on his way to becoming champion with Al-Wasl, notably thanks to his nine goals scored in 21 league matches (four others in the Cup). But what are they worth at this level? Yakin assures that such factors are taken into account in the internal assessment. On the other hand, his 93 selections and his knowledge of the group speak in his favor.

Joël Monteiro (24 years old) obviously does not have the same experience as the Lucerne native. The YB striker nevertheless has qualities that Yakin appreciates. “He has good physical abilities, he is tall and fast, these are important elements for a striker,” explains the coach. And with twelve goals in the league, Monteiro also has an appreciable statistical record.

“Unfortunately, he has now injured himself (ed: an ankle) at a very unfavorable moment,” recalls Yakin, who may ultimately have no choice but to pull a surprise out of his hat during the announcement of his selection next week in Lausanne.

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