Moscow, July 16: Every World Cup has its winners and losers: no matter who finally lifts the trophy, with some footballers’ performances seeing their stock rise dramatically and earning them a big-money move over the summer. These are some players whose displays in Russia will have attracted attention and who could be on the move.
Kylian Mbappe’s performance in the final and his award for the young player of the tournament, only served to confirm that far from being a promise, he is already a reality as a footballer.
The 19-year-old was one of the sensations of the World Cup and although the teenager already made a big money move from Monaco to Paris Saint Germain a year ago, his displays could well be just what a team looking for a new star player and willing to splash out over 200 million euros is looking for… especially if their previous stars left earlier this month.
Eden Hazard’s Belgium may have fallen at the semifinal stage, but the Chelsea winger only enhanced his reputation as they achieved a best ever third place finish, which he helped seal with a shimmy and a shot against England. Whether Chelsea would sell could be a factor, but if they were willing to let him go, Spain could be a destination.
Even though he was substituted early in the final N’golo Kante’s midfield displays have been one of the key features of France’s march to their second title: once again there are only a small number of clubs who could afford him, but the man who only five years ago was in the French second division must be attracting envious looks.
Golden Gloves winner, Thibaut Courtois is being linked with a move away from Chelsea after his performances: it could be a busy few weeks at Stamford Bridge.
Paul Pogba had a difficult relationship with Manchester United coach Jose Mourinho last season and his performances in Russia and goal in the final have only increased his value: if Mourinho wants to say ‘au-revoir’ to the midfielder, now is probably the moment to sell.
Golden Boot winner Harry Kane confirmed himself as one of the best strikers in the World and once again could be a target for a massive club looking to sign guaranteed goals, although once again the price tag is going to be huge. His Tottenham team-mate Kieran Trippier, relatively unknown before the World Cup could also have suitors after his exception tournament.
Elsewhere Croatia defender, Domagoj Vida can expect to receive offers to take him away from Turkish side, Besiktas, with the English Premier League a possible destination, while Villarreal may think this is the perfect moment to cash in on Denis Cheryshev after he became a national hero with Russia and Ahmed Musa’s goals for Nigeria could tempt someone to give him another chance despite his disappointing spell at Leicester City.
Leicester City will have to work hard to keep hold of Harry Maguire after the central defender they bought from Hull City for just 17 million pounds a year ago was arguably England’s best player in Russia.
Maguire’s power in the air, pace and ability to play the ball from the back must have captured the attention of a host of clubs and Leicester could probably triple what they paid for him if they were willing to sell.
Uruguay’s Jose Maria Gimenez was also impressive and Atletico Madrid will have to fend off interest for the 23-year-old, although they could be tempted to cash in on his 32-year-old team-mate Diego Godin, another who had an excellent tournament in Russia and who is being linked strongly with Juventus.
One factor to bear in mind, however, is that with the transfer window in the Premier League closing on August 9th this year, deals will have to be done quickly and whatever happens is going to happen soon. IANS