We’re all missing the Blues while they’re not in action, so we thought we’d do a write-up on where the international lads are up to – purely for your summer fill of Lucas Digne crosses and Richarlison pigeon dancing.
In the lead-up to the tournament, Richarlison opened the scoring in a 2-0 win against Qatar and closed the scoring in a 7-0 success over Honduras, both from the right wing. Not a bad tournament preparation.
The winger started on the right of Brazil’s attack for their Copa America opener against Bolivia, playing the first 84 minutes before being replaced by Everton. For Brazil. Confusing, I know. Richarlison managed a key pass and had two shots blocked in a positive performance, winning 11 of his 16 duels.
The 22-year-old was replaced by Gabriel Jesus at half-time of a frustrating 0-0 draw with Venezuela, as manager Tite looked to find a way through the opposition in a game where the Seleção had three goals ruled out by VAR. Richarlison hadn’t had a bad first half, and was denied early on by opposition ‘keeper Wuilker Faríñez.
Yerry Mina (Colombia)
Mina joined up with the national side for their final friendly before the tournament, helping keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 win over Peru.
The centre-back kept Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero quiet in a 2-0 win over Argentina to open Colombia’s Copa campaign, making five clearances and 38 passes.
He started for another clean sheet in the next match against Qatar, which his team won 1-0. Mina missed a big chance, but Duvan Zapata ensured Colombia took the three points with a late goal.
Under-21 European Championships
Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Kieran Dowell, Jonjoe Kenny (England)
All three of our lads started on the bench with Dominic Solanke somehow preferred to Calvert-Lewin. The striker was the only Evertonian to make a cameo in the opener, but wasn’t able to make an impact as he oversaw a late capitulation thanks to Hamza Choudhury, who was sent off, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who scored an own goal, blowing a 1-0 lead to eventually lose 2-1 to the French.
African Cup of Nations warm-up friendlies
Idrissa Gueye (Senegal)
Gana geared up for his African Cup of Nations campaign by scoring the eventual winner after half an hour of Senegal’s warm-up match against Nigeria, which finished 1-0.
Yannick Bolasie (DR Congo)
Bolasie has had a couple of friendly draws with both Burkina Faso (0-0) and Kenya (1-1), playing 67 minutes of the latter on the left wing before being replaced by Jonathan Bolingi.
Henry Onyekuru (Nigeria)
Onyekuru, subject of much transfer speculation, came on for the last fifteen minutes of a 0-0 draw with Zimbabwe but stayed on the bench for the aforementioned Senegal game – again being denied the chance to be on the pitch with one of his Everton teammates.
In other news, Lucas Digne played the first half of a Euro qualifier with Turkey which ended in a 2-0 defeat for his France side, and Seamus Coleman captained Ireland to 1-1 draw with Denmark and a 2-0 win over Gibraltar, playing the full 90 minutes of both.
Gylfi Sigurdsson completed both of his Iceland side’s 1-0 win against Albania and 2-1 win over Turkey, making a total of nine key passes across the two games. Muhamed Besic started in central midfield for both a 2-0 loss at the hands of Finland and a 2-1 defeat to Italy.
And of course, England’s Number One made ten saves against the Netherlands in the Nations League but couldn’t prevent a 3-1 defeat. Jordan Pickford did score a penalty in the third place play-off penalty defeat against Switzerland, posing some interesting questions for next season… Michael Keane stayed on the bench for both games.