Washing away the World Cup failure: Young guns set to lead Euro 2024 charge

A brand new generation is coming in the Danish national team

It was a case of ‘out with the old and in with the new’ when Denmark unveiled its first squad this week following the fiasco that unfolded at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Gone, for now at least, are Thomas Delaney, Yussuf Poulsen and Daniel Wass – all stalwarts during the Kasper Hjulmand era.

Instead, with the first Euro 2024 qualification game against Finland approaching, Hjulmand has turned to youth, picking several players with few caps or none at all.

Elias Jelert (FC Copenhagen), Victor Kristiansen (Leicester City), Mads Hermansen (Brøndby) and Morten Hjulmand (Lecce) have yet to play a game for Denmark, while Mohamed Daramy (FC Copenhagen) and Rasmus Højlund (Atalanta) only have six caps between them.

Other players getting a rare look are Philip Billing, Marcus Ingvartsen and Anders Dreyer.

“Football is in charge. No matter how old you are, if you are good enough, you will come along,” Hjulmand said at a press conference.

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Captain Kjær the survivor
Injuries and poor runs of form at club level are the primary reasons for players to miss out: Christian Eriksen, Andreas Skov Olsen and Jesper Lindstrøm, and Kasper Dolberg, Jens Stryger Larsen, Andreas Cornelius and Robert Skov, for instance.

Captain Simon Kjær was one of the few veterans to keep his position in the squad, though he hasn’t featured for AC Milan since mid-February.

“He’s played the best I’ve seen in a long time against Tottenham, but since then he hasn’t played. I’m rooting for Simon and I hope he finds his way back into the team. It’s really annoying”, the Danish head coach admitted.

Kasper Schmeichel, Pierre-Emile Højbjerg and Andreas Christensen will also be relied on to add experience.

Denmark open their Euro 2024 qualification against Finland at Parken Stadium on March 23 before travelling to Astana to take on Kazakhstan three days later.

Denmark’s squad against Finland and Kazakhstan:

Goalkeepers: Kasper Schmeichel (OGC Nice), Frederik Rønnow (Union Berlin), Mads Hermansen (Brøndby IF)

Defenders: Joakim Mæhle (Atalanta), Simon Kjær (AC Milan), Andreas Christensen (Barcelona), Joachim Andersen (Crystal Palace), Victor Nelsson (Galatasaray), Alexander Bah (Benfica), Victor Kristiansen (Leicester), Elias Jelert (FC Copenhagen)

Midfielders: Mathias Jensen (Brentford), Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (Tottenham), Christian Nørgaard (Brentford), Philip Billing (Bournemouth), Morten Hjulmand (Lecce)

Forwards: Mikkel Damsgaard (Brentford), Martin Braithwaite (Espanyol), Jonas Wind (Wolfsburg), Mohamed Daramy (FC Copenhagen), Anders Dreyer (Anderlecht), Marcus Ingvartsen (Mainz), Rasmus Højlund (Atalanta)

Hjulmand mentioned he might draft in another player or two over the weekend.

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