Nothing quite puts a footballer in the shop window like a strong international tournament. We pick out five players who could be on the move after Euro 2016.
While the French public expected Paul Pogba to become the national team’s talisman this summer, it was in fact Griezmann who become the darling of the host nation. What makes Griezmann’s performances even more impressive is the fact the Atletico Madrid forward had the mental resilience to bounce back from being substituted in the opening match and dropped for the second.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) July 11, 2016
Six goals and two assists later and the 25-year-old was the obvious choice to be named Player of the Tournament. Griezmann only recently signed a new contract at the Vicente Calderon, but with Chelsea and Manchester United understood to be among his admirers, it would be no surprise to see one of the Premier League duo make a renewed attempt to sign the deadly attacker.
The arrival of Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool inspired an upturn in form for a number of Reds players, with Allen one of the prime examples. The diminutive midfielder – famously dubbed the “Welsh Xavi” by Brendan Rodgers – carried this form into the European Championships, where he relished the responsibility of being one of Wales’ senior figures.
Few would have predicted Allen would be named the Team of the Tournament before the a game was played, but the 26-year-old thoroughly deserved his selection. Despite helping Wales into the semi-finals, the former Swansea man is still expected to leave Liverpool, though he is certain to have no shortage of offers.
Heading into the tournament, Antonio Conte’s men had been written off as one of the worst Italy squads to be taken to a major championships. However, built on the platform of a superb three-man defence marshalled by Bonucci, the Azzurri knocked out holders Spain and were only beaten by world champions Germany in a penalty shootout.
Leonardo Bonucci’s #EURO2016 by numbers:
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 11, 2016
Not only did Bonucci prove a master of the sacred Italian art of defending, but the 29-year-old showed an impressive ability on the ball. Pep Guardiola has previously described the centre-back as one of his “favourite ever players” and Manchester City and Chelsea have been tipped to make a big-money move for the Juventus stalwart.
Croatia were being suggested as serious contenders following the group stages, and one of the main reasons for that was the displays of Perisic. The Inter Milan attacking midfielder may have caught the eye thanks to his flamboyant haircut, but his performances were just as striking.
Perisic impressed in the victory over Turkey, scored the opener in the draw against the Czech Republic, and created Nikola Kalinic’s equaliser before scoring the winner against Spain. Cash-strapped Inter now face a fight to keep hold of the pacy 27-year-old.
Arguably the story of the tournament, Iceland’s monumental journey to the quarter-finals will have undoubtedly put a host of their players in the shop window this summer. Sigurdsson was part of the defence which frustrated Cristiano Ronaldo in the opening match, and also scored in the historic victory over England.
— UEFA EURO 2016 (@UEFAEURO) July 3, 2016
Sigurdsson may be 30, but reports have suggested Bundesliga duo Schalke and Wolfsburg have already approached the FC Krasnador centre-back, while English trio Leicester, Tottenham and Liverpool are also understood to be interested.