The World Cup can act as a launching pad for the careers of top players. Those who produce the goods on the biggest stage of all are bound to attract the attention of the top clubs, and many will seal their dreams moves after performing well in Russia. Four years ago, it was Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez who propelled himself to global stardom and earned a big move to La Liga giants Real Madrid.
So let’s look at a few of those who might make the switch to Europe’s elite teams after this summer’s football extravaganza.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Serbia)
The Lazio man was already being linked with a move away from the Italian capital before he turned out for Serbia at the World Cup. After a storming season in Serie A in which he helped power the Rome-based club to fifth place in the league, narrowly missing out on a Champions League spot, the midfielder drew attention from next-level outfits including Manchester United and Real Madrid. He has already been valued at £60m plus, and the final price could be much higher if a bidding war gets underway.
His side failed to make it to the knockout stage of the World Cup, finishing third behind Brazil and Switzerland in Group E but he was one of the better performers across their three matches.
Aleksandr Golovin (Russia)
Aleksandr Golovin was less well-known prior to the World Cup, but following the injury to Alan Dzagoev in the first half of Russia’s opener against Saudi Arabia, the youngster seized his chance to shine.
He took the role of midfield playmaker during the second half and topped off his performance with an injury time free-kick to announce his arrival to the world.
The 22-year-old currently plies his trade in Russia for CSKA Moscow, and his importance was emphasised when the hosts struggled without him in the 3-0 defeat to Uruguay. While he has been linked to Juventus, it is thought that Premier League club’s Manchester United and Arsenal are interested in signing the 22-year-old.
Hirving Lozano (Mexico)
Germany’s departure from the 2018 World Cup has been one of the talking points of this year’s tournament. As a result, Betfair football tips website made Brazil clear favourites to claim the trophy ahead of 2010 winners Spain.
The German’s demise began with Hirving Lozano’s winning goal for Mexico when they beat the reigning champions in the opening game.
As well as exposing the Germans for being weaker than expected, it also gave Mexico the belief to progress to the knockout stages. The PSV striker got in behind the German defence and cut inside before coolly slotting home to send Mexican fans wild.
He also provided the assist for Javier Hernandez in the win over South Korea that virtually sealed El Tri’s place in the Last 16. Tipped by many, to be one of the stars of the tournament, he has already been linked with a move to Premier League side Liverpool, although Barcelona are also said to be monitoring his progress.