Attention has switched from international football back to club football after France’s victory in Russia and there will be plenty of players who’ve impressed while representing their countries.
Europe’s leading clubs will now be looking to finalise their transfer business, but there’ll be some wariness of signing players who have previously impressed in international competitions, think Kleberson and Eric Djemba-Djemba.
We’ve picked out ten players who enhanced their reputations in Russia and could be in for a transfer to another club as a result.
Eden Hazard has made no secret of his desire to leave Stamford Bridge this summer and Real Madrid have reportedly lined up a €200 million fund to sanction the move. His performances in Russia will have pushed his fee up even further and that’s probably the one thing that Chelsea fans will appreciate. He scored three goals, provided two assists and made more dribbles than any other player in the tournament. A move to Madrid seems inevitable, especially after the departure of a certain Portuguese icon.
Trippier arrived in Russia as an international novice, but he left as a sensation on England’s right flank as Gareth Southgate’s men finished fourth. His free kick in the semi final was the highlight of his tournament. However, his set pieces and crossing has been of the highest standard and he’s been touted by many as the best since David Beckham. He set a new record for chances created by an England player at a W. Cup, with 24 eclipsing Sir Bobby Charlton’s 18 back in 1966. Clubs will be deterred from making a bid for him though, as Daniel Levy is one of the toughest negotiators in the industry and it’s unlikely that many chairmen will meet his valuation of the player.
Leicester paid Hull £17 million for Maguire last June, but his price is likely to have rocketed after his performances in Russia. Gareth Southgate said pre-tournament that Maguire could be a revelation and the waistcoat was correct! He was a key attacking weapon for the Three Lions in the Love Train and also showed great composure in bringing the ball out from the back. He’s only 25 years old, but this was a breakout summer for him and he’ll have some of the bigger teams sniffing around.
Mexico’s display against Germany was one of the best in the group stages and central to all that was their young winger, Hirving Lozano. He came into the tournament as one of the hottest youngsters around and left with his reputation intact. Arsenal have been rumoured to be interested in the winger, as have Barcelona, but PSV Eindhoven have insisted that they have received no bids so far.
The Colombian centre back only joined Barcelona back in January, but an exit was already mooted, with both Everton and West Ham interested. However, the Catalan giants might be best in keeping him now after his performances in Russia. Clement Lenglet has already arrived at the Camp Nou this summer, which adds competition to his spot, but they could make a significant profit on a player purely based on his international form. He’s essentially the Colombian Harry Maguire.
Russia weren’t expected to do much in their own tournament, but thanks to players like Denis Cheryshev, they beat Spain and progressed to the quarter finals. In fact, Cheryshev had barely featured for Villarreal in La Liga last season and only broke into the Russia team after Alan Dzagoev went down injured. He scored four goals in the tournament and his form alerted Liverpool to a move, although their signing of Xherdan Shaqiri might have cooled their interest. Villarreal would be wise to cash in on him though, seeing as he made just nine starts in all competitions last season.
Playing in a team with some established names, you’d be forgiven about not noticing Diego Laxalt, but he was excellent playing from a left-wing back role for Uruguay. The Genoa player was outstanding for Oscar Tabarez and will surely have caught some glances from any team looking for a player in his position.
Jose Mourinho was interested in Perisic last summer, but Manchester United weren’t keen to stump up the value that Inter Milan held him at. That might come back to bite them as a move this summer will cost considerably more after the Croatian’s exploits in Russia. He’s had a direct hand in 52 league goals in the last three seasons and he showed all his power, strength and pace as his country made an unlikely appearance in the final.
Pickford only joined Everton 12 months ago, but arrived at Goodison Park for a considerable transfer fee which will only have increased after his performances for England. If Brazil ‘keeper Alisson Becker is worth £66 million, then Pickford surely isn’t too far away from that valuation. He proved that he has the composure to handle a penalty shootout, as well as make crucial saves in games. He’s also a superb distributor of the ball. Chelsea are looking for potential replacements for Thibaut Courtois and might consider Pickford, although he might prove too expensive for the Blues.
Pavard’s rise to fame is even more impressive than international teammate N’Golo Kante and that’s saying something! Two years ago, he signed for Stuttgart in Germany’s second division, won promotion in his first season, then impressed enough to be called up to the French squad as a replacement for Djibril Sidibe. He played a key role for the W. Cup winners and Bayern Munich had hoped to sign the defender when a release clause comes into effect next summer. However, Stuttgart might be better off if they cash in now.