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Town right back up against Europe's best this summer

8 June 2016

Club News

Town right back up against Europe's best this summer

8 June 2016

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Lewandowski, Yarmolenko and Ozil will all cause problems

Jakub Blaszczykowski, Thomas Muller and Yehven Konoplyanka… just some of the wingers right back Conor McLaughlin will come up against when playing for Northern Ireland at EURO 2016.

The Cod Army favourite is a key part of Northern Ireland’s 23 man squad for their first major tournament in 30 years when they kick off their campaign in France on 12th June.

First up for Michael O’Neill’s side will be a clash against Poland before taking on Ukraine on 16th June and ending their group schedule against Germany on 21st June.

And for 24 year old McLaughlin, it’s set to be an exciting few weeks as he pits his wits against some of the best attacking talent in the world.

Here at Highbury, we’ve profiled three key players who will cause problems in France, as the Green and White Army get set for what they hope will be one of their most memorable summers.


Robert Lewandowski - Bayern Munich

Poland’s danger man, Lewandowksi scored an incredible 48 goals in 55 appearances in all competitions last season and will be the man to watch for the The White and Reds.

The striker, who has been linked with moves away from Bayern Munich during the close season, scored 30 goals in the Bundesliga last term.

His senior career began in his native Poland with Znicz Pruszkow, where he top scored in the third and second divisions before being snapped up by Lech Poznan.

He spent two seasons with Poznan and finished second in the scoring charts in his first season, however went one better the following campaign as he finished top scorer as Poznan won the league.

His form for Poznan attracted the interest of Borrusia Dortmund, and Lewandowksi moved to Germany on a four year deal in June 2010.

He was a hit at Westfalenstadion and scored an incredible 102 goals in all competitions whilst with the club, before moving to rivals Bayern Munich in 2014.

Lewandowski’s stock has continued to rise with Bayern and he is now regarded as arguably the best striker in world football.


Andriy Yarmolenko - Dynamo Kiev

Yarmolenko has established himself as one of the most feared forwards in Europe having scored goals consistently for both club and country in recent years.

The 26 year old has been with current side Dynamo Kiev since 2007, and is a key player for the Ukrainian Premier Division side.

In December 2006, he signed a five year contract with Dynamo but was placed in the second team where he featured for two seasons.

He struggled with injury throughout the 2015/16 season, and only played 18 times in all competitions and scored seven goals.


Mesut Ozil - Arsenal

Ozil enjoyed a fantastic personal campaign with Arsenal last season as he notched a staggering 19 assists as well as six goals in the Premier League.

The German star will now be hoping to take last year’s league form into this summer’s tournament as the Germans start the competition as one of the favourites.

Ozil started his career with hometown side Schalke 04, but later moved to Werder Bremen for a reported fee of €5 million.

His breakthrough season came in 2009/10 when he filled the void left by Diego who joined Juventus, and led Bremen to third in the Bundesliga.

A magnificent 2010 World Cup saw Real Madrid move for his services later that year, and he made his debut for the Spanish giants against Hercules.

He finished his first campaign at the Bernabéu with 25 assists to his name, the highest for any player in any major European competition that season.

After a further two campaigns with Madrid, Arsenal secured his signature and he moved to the Emirates Stadium for £42.5 million.

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