The Premier League Stars who are Going to the Olympics

Winston Reid

West Ham United defender Winston Reid is heading to the Olympic Games in Tokyo as an over-aged player for New Zealand. The 33-year-old comes into this tournament on the back of a loan spell at newly promoted in the Championship last season, where he played 11 times as the Bees won the playoffs against Swansea City.

Reid’s side who are nicknamed the All Whites will be playing against the likes of Honduras, Romania and South Korea in Group B. The former Denmark youth international hasn’t played a league game for the Hammers since the 2017/18 campaign and has even gone on loan at MLS side Sporting Kansas City since then in 2020. West Ham take on Newcastle United at St James’ Park, but Reid may be using the Olympic Games to raise his stock and find a route out of the London Stadium.

Chris Wood

Chris Wood will also be playing for New Zealand at the Olympics in Tokyo this summer as one of the All White’s over-aged players. The Burnley talisman will be his side’s main goal threat having scored 24 goals in 57 caps for his country since making his debut back in 2009.

The 29-year-old’s first game of the season with Burnley will likely be against Brighton on Saturday 14th August and will be hoping to use this tournament to further impress next season on top of the 12 league goals he managed last time out in the Premier League in 33 games. Wood is a vital cog in Burnley’s system due to his goal-scoring prowess, as well as his hold up play and has attracted interest from the likes of Aston Villa, Everton and West Ham so far this summer.

Tudor Băluță

Brighton midfielder Tudor Baluta will also compete in Group B containing New Zealand, Honduras and South Korea. The 22-year-old Romanian is yet to actually feature in a league game for the Seagulls since his move from Viitorul Constanta in 2019.

Baluta is a combative defensive midfielder who has had three loan spells away from the Amex Stadium since joining the club, firstly, going back to Viitorul in 2019, before also having spells at ADO Den Haag in the Dutch Eredivisie and Dynamo Kyiv. Brighton will face Burnley at Turf Moor on the opening weekend of the Premier League season and Baluta will be hoping that a good account of himself could give him a good chance of being involved in Premier League football in the upcoming campaign.

Alexis Mac Allister

Alexis Mac Allister is another Brighton midfielder who will be competing at the Olympics with Argentina in Group D. The Argentine is arguably the most notable player in his national team’s squad for this tournament as none of those who helped them win the Copa America in Brazil earlier this month have been included.

Mac Allister will be part of a squad that will compete in Group C against Australia, Egypt and tournament favourites Spain and will be hoping to use this competition as leverage to further stake a claim into the Brighton team on a more regular basis, having featured just 21 times last campaign.

Jay Rich-Baghuelou

Crystal Palace defender Jay Rich-Baghuelou is one of the lesser-known names out of all the Premier League players that are taking part in the Olympics this summer, but, the 21-year-old Australian could use this tournament as a chance to prove himself to new Eagles boss Patrick Vieira, following a squad overhaul at Selhurst Park which has seen many senior first-team players being released from the club upon the expiry of their contracts.

Australia will take on the likes of Argentina, Egypt and Spain in Group C which presents itself as a very tough task for the Aussies, but this is also a challenge for a group of relatively inexperienced players to prove themselves and raise their game against some tricky opposition. Rich-Baghuelou will be hoping to try and work his way into Palace’s squad throughout the season, whether this be in Carabao Cup matches or he could potentially go out on loan. The Eagles take on Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on the opening day of the season.

Caleb Watts

Caleb Watts will also be playing alongside the likes of Rich-Baghuelou for the Socceroos Olympic Games side. The 19-year-old Southampton midfielder has already made a couple of appearances for the Saints, in a FA Cup match against Shrewsbury Town last season, as well as in a 3-1 league defeat to Arsenal, coming on in place of Danny Ings.

The former Queens Park Rangers youth player will be hoping to use matches against Argentina, Egypt and Spain to elevate his stature at St Mary’s as he looks to make more first-team appearances under Ralph Hassenhuttl, with the Austrian being well known for giving young players such as Yan Valery, Nathan Tella and Michael Obafemi plenty of first-team chances. Southampton will go head-to-head with Everton at Goodison Park on the opening weekend of the upcoming Premier League season.

Douglas Luiz

Aston Villa midfielder Douglas Luiz will be part of Brazil’s Olympics Squad, having also managed to make it as a more peripheral figure in their Copa America side that finished as runners-up to Argentina in the final earlier this month.

Brazil will face the likes of Argentina, Australia and Egypt in Group C and will be expected to go far into the tournament, having won it on home turf in Rio last time out in 2016. Villa face newly promoted Watford at Vicarage Road on 14th August, and Luiz will be hoping that he can maintain his place as a regular starter for the Villains.

Richarlison

Another Brazilian who will be desperate to impress is Everton forward Richarlison following the recent arrival of Rafael Benitez at Goodison Park. The 24-year-old former Watford man had a slightly disappointing Copa America, scoring one and assisting one in seven appearances in the tournament and will hope to impress at the Olympics to boost his reputation with the national side.

Richarlison had a very inconsistent Premier League campaign with the Toffees, scoring seven and assisting three, so, he’ll have a lot to prove when Benitez joins the club, otherwise, he could find himself on the fringes of the first-team if Everton invest heavily once again.

Gabriel Martinelli

Arsenal forward Gabriel Martinelli is the final Brazilian to enter this list of Premier League stars who will be going to the Olympics, with the 20-year-old desperate to impress having only played 839 minutes for Arsenal last season following a lengthy injury lay-off, as well as often being used as a fringe player.

The Olympics will offer Martinelli a potential chance to prove that he could be a future star of the Brazilian national side and Arsenal who take on Brentford at the Brentford Community Stadium in what will be this season’s curtain-raiser in the Premier League on Friday 13th August.

Eric Bailly

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be taking part as an over-aged player for the Ivory Coast in Tokyo. The Ivorian will be the main centre-back in a team that will face a tough task against Brazil, Germany and Saudi Arabia in Group D.

The 27-year-old has a lot to prove coming into this competition, having only managed to play 66 Premier League matches since moving to Old Trafford from Villarreal in the summer of 2016 and is set to be replaced by Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane if reports from Spain are to be true, meaning that Bailly will have a battle on his hands if he is to start for the Red Devils against bitter rivals Leeds United on the opening weekend of the season.

Amad Diallo

Last but not least is Bailly’s club and international teammate Amad Diallo, who as mentioned above, will be competing in Group D. The Olympics presents the 19-year-old with a great opportunity to showcase his abilities as a young prodigy, having shown what he could offer in future years in limited appearances at Old Trafford since completing his €40m move from Atalanta in January.

Diallo has only made three appearances for the Ivory Coast’s senior side, scoring once which was a sensational last-gasp winner against Burkina Faso in July and even managed to notch up a goal and an assist in eight first-team appearances for United, notably scoring a header past AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma in the Europa League, as well as making an assist for a Mason Greenwood goal against Leicester in a 2-1 loss to the Foxes back in May.

A good tournament could show Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the Ivorian could be up to the task of playing a more prominent role for United this season as a fringe player behind the likes of Jadon Sancho on the right-wing, whilst Mason Greenwood takes on a role as an understudy to Edinson Cavani as United’s main striker.


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