With less than three months to go until kick off in the delayed European Championship, the upcoming international break takes on added significance for a number of players looking to work their way into their manager’s reckoning.
Domestic football takes a back seat for the next few weeks as a whole host of countries begin their qualifying campaign for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
In what could prove to be a vital international break as managers look to finalise their squads for Euro 2020, we take a look at the players who could make their senior international debut.
One of the highlights for Barcelona this season has been the emergence of some quality youngsters, and Pedri is among the best of them.
The 18-year-old has lit up Camp Nou at times during his breakthrough campaign and has been rewarded with a call-up to Spain’s senior side.
Despite playing for England at numerous youth levels, highly-rated Bayern Munich youngster Jamal Musiala has switched his allegiance to Germany.
There’s a good chance Joachim Low could hand him his debut for the German national side in the coming weeks as they look to definitively end the tug of war over which country he’ll represent.
There were plenty of calls for Patrick Bamford to be called up to the England squad by Gareth Southgate, but Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins is the man who’s been given his opportunity.
The former Brentford forward is enjoying a fine debut season in the Premier League, notching ten goals in 28 outings, and could be in contention for a place in Southgate’s squad this summer if he’s given the chance to impress.
Luis Enrique has looked to integrate the next generation of Spanish stars into his Spain sides of late, and his most recently named squad is no different.
Manchester City loanee Pedro Porro is in line to make his senior international debut after being called up to the Spain squad last week, with the right-back having impressed at Sporting CP.
At just 17 years of age, Florian Wirtz is already producing eye-catching performances in the Bundesliga with Bayer Leverkusen.
He joins Musiala in being handed his maiden senior call-up to the Germany squad and could feature at some point as Die Mannschaft take on Iceland, Romania and North Macedonia.
At 29 years of age, Gian Marco Ferrari probably thought his chance with the Italy national team had long gone.
However, the Sassuolo defender has been named in Roberto Mancini’s squad and will be hoping to earn his first cap.
Another player who has decided to switch his allegiance from England.
Unlike with Musiala, the Three Lions offered little resistance as Che Adams opted to represent Scotland, and their upcoming fixtures offer a great chance for him to impress prior to the Scots’ return to a major international tournament this summer.
Matteo Ricci is another relatively late arrival to the international scene with Italy.
The midfielder has really found his feet at Spezia since deciding to call time on a frustrating spell with Roma which saw him shipped out on loan to six different clubs.
He could finally be set to taste senior international football having represented the Azzurri at youth level.
Few people would have heard of Caoimhin Kelleher before the start of this season.
The Irishman was thrust into action for Liverpool after injuries to Alisson and Adrian, and the 22-year-old could make his international debut after impressing in his handful of appearances for the Reds.
18-year-old Nuno Mendes broke into the Sporting CP first-team setup last season and he’s gone on to establish himself as a key member of their starting XI.
With clashes against Azerbaijan, Serbia and Luxembourg to come, Portugal boss Fernando Santos could be tempted to experiment with a number of the youngsters named in his squad.
Having represented Brazil at youth level, Rafael Toloi has opted to switch his allegiance to Italy.
At 30 years of age he’s hardly one for the future, but he deserves his chance having impressed for Atalanta for a number of years.
It seems pretty unlikely that Sam Johnstone will be handed his debut for England over the coming weeks, but his performances this campaign have certainly warranted it.
The West Brom man has consistently produced for the Baggies this season, and who knows what Southgate could try in the absence of first-choice goalkeeper Jordan Pickford.
Another potential debutant in Portugal’s ranks.
Joao Palhinha has been one of Sporting CP’s standout players this season, though he’ll need to grab the opportunity with both hands if he’s given the chance to impress, with Portugal’s squad brimming with talent.
Adams’ decision to represent Scotland may hamper Kevin Nisbet’s bid to stake a claim for a place in their Euro 2020 squad.
The Hibernian man has rebuilt his career having dropped down to the lower leagues in Scotland’s footballing pyramid and it’ll be some story if he makes his debut.
Jeremiah St Juste has been a near ever-present for Mainz in their battle to avoid relegation from the Bundesliga this season.
The 24-year-old clearly wasn’t expecting to be called up to the Netherlands squad any time soon, having revealed he only found out the news after his grandma told him she’d seen it on television.
Brighton loanee Leo Ostigard has been superb for Coventry this season as they look to retain their place in the Championship.
The youngster joins up with the likes of Erling Haaland and Martin Odegaard in the Norway squad and he’ll be hoping for a chance to impress in their upcoming games against Gibraltar, Turkey and Montenegro.
The USMNT’s fixtures over the international break are friendlies with Jamaica and Northern Ireland.
With no competitive action taking place, Gregg Berhalter has handed call-ups to a number of uncapped players including Chituru Odunze, Jordan Siebatcheu and Christian Cappis.
But the pick of the bunch is Roma’s Bryan Reynolds. Big things are expected of the 19-year-old and Berhalter has talked very highly of him in the past.
Nicknamed the ‘Little Cruyff’, Bryan Gil’s talents are beginning to grab the attention of a lot of clubs.
The Sevilla man is currently enjoying a successful loan spell with Eibar and there’s big things expected of the tricky winger.
Ukraine are on the hunt for a successor to Andriy Pyatov.
Real Madrid back-up goalkeeper Andriy Lunin has long been talked of as the future number one, though Andriy Shevchenko appears keen to explore his options with Shakhtar Donetsk youngster Anatoliy Trubin named in the squad.
Prior to this season, Robert Sanchez had never made an appearance for Brighton in his two years at the club.
However, Mat Ryan’s dip in form saw the Spaniard handed his chance and he’s performed very well for the Seagulls.
Ousting David de Gea would take something special, but if Enrique is unsure about throwing the Manchester United man back into action after a number of weeks away from the game, Sanchez could be given a chance.