7 forgotten ex-Premier League footballers who are playing at Euro 2024

Former Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham players are among the Euro 2024 stars we had completely forgotten played in the Premier League.

One of the most eyebrow-raising moments of any international tournament these days is seeing a former Premier League player you’d completely forgotten about turning out for their country – and this year’s finals are no different.

We’ve picked out seven forgotten ex-Premier League players who have made us rub our eyes by appearing in Germany this summer.

Matteo Darmian

It can’t have just been us who did a double take when Steve Bower introduced Darmian to BBC viewers as Italy meekly lost to Switzerland in the last 16.

We’re aware Darmian played for Manchester United, left for Inter Milan during the Solskjaer era and won Serie A in 2021 after emerging as football’s most surprising clutch player.

We’re also aware the 34-year-old defender is still at the San Siro today. But there’s no way we clocked Darmian was in the actual Italy squad and made two substitute appearances at Euro 2024.

Time is both a wonderful and frightening concept.

Arsenal's Jorginho celebrates scoring

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name the 20 Italian players with the most Premier League appearances?

Denis Zakaria

What? Are you telling me you completely airbrushed Zakaria’s 12 Premier League appearances for Chelsea during his 2022-23 loan spell from history?

Are you insane?

Ayoze Perez

“I used to watch international tournaments on holiday back in Santa Cruz de Tenerife,” Perez told The Athletic. “I’d call my friends to join me at home and watch the games, just chilling.”

Nobody would’ve been surprised if the former Leicester and Newcastle striker had followed the same routine for Euro 2024.

But Spain manager Luis De La Fuente threw a curveball by selecting the 30-year-old in his squad after Perez had scored on his international debut in a pre-tournament win over Andorra.

He made a cameo appearance against Italy in the group stage and will be itching to be involved in the quarter-final clash against hosts Germany.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every non-UK Premier League player at Euro 2024?

Nikola Vlasic

Vlasic had unmemorable Premier League spells with both Everton and West Ham – and his time at Euro 2024 followed the same path.

After the Croatia attacker spent their first match on the bench, he withdrew from the squad following a muscle injury.

“I’m extremely sorry that this new injury will prevent me from helping the team,” the Torino man said.

“I’ve done everything possible to be ready, and I’d like to thank the head coach and the coaching staff for the opportunity. I believe in this team and I’m sure they will succeed – I’ll be their biggest fan!”

His support failed to prevent Croatia from bowing out in the group stages.

Vanja Milinkovic-Savic

While Sergej Milinkovic-Savic was seemingly Manchester United’s answer to Leandro Damiao to Tottenham – an ever-present of every summer’s rumour mill – they already signed, and sold, his brother.

United spent €1.75million to sign Vanja from FK Vojvodina in 2014, with the goalkeeper remaining at the Serbian outfit on loan for the following season.

Work permit complications saw the stopper released in November 2015, and he’s now a stalwart at Serie A outfit Torino.

The 27-year-old played all three matches at the 2022 World Cup, but sat on the bench for the entirety of Serbia’s Euro 2024 campaign which ended in the group stages.

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Newcastle United - Old Trafford Robbie Brady

READ: 13 players you forgot ever played for Man Utd: Beardsley, Milinkovic-Savic…

Steven Bergwijn

Responsible for one of Tottenham’s most dramatic victories in Premier League history – his late double turned a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 lead at Leicester in January 2022 – Bergwijn was sold to Ajax six months later.

It’s been a difficult period for the Dutch giants, but Bergwijn has scored 29 goals over the past two seasons and was called into Ronald Koeman’s Netherlands squad for Euro 2024.

He didn’t make an appearance in the group stages and his biggest contribution was almost injuring Micky van de Ven in training – but the underwhelming Dutch performances means there could be an opportunity to redeem himself.

Cenk Tosun

After flopping at Everton, and spending five forgotten matches on loan at Crystal Palace before leaving England in 2022, Tosun was Turkey’s match-winner in their final group match against the Czech Republic.

The 33-year-old striker came off the bench to score in injury time to give the Turks a 2-1 win and send them into the knockout rounds of a major tournament for the first time since 2008.