This summer, Europe’s top footballing nations will travel to France to compete in the European Championship. With so much talent on show, scouts from across the continent will be watching Europe’s starlets as they showcase their skills on the big stage. Here are five key men who may make the move to England’s top flight after impressing at the tournament this summer.
The Barcelona defender has shown glimpses of quality during his time at Camp Nou but he has failed to displace either Gerard Pique or Javier Mascherano at the heart of their defence. Bartra is a phenomenal young talent and boasts an excellent disciplinary record, composure in possession and an intelligent football brain – three traits that suggest he would be an instant hit in the Premier League.
With reports suggesting that Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool might be interested, Bartra could be playing his football at Anfield next season. And with the Reds still in contention to win the Europa League and secure Champions League football, the 25-year-old will be keeping a close eye on Klopp’s side for the remainder of the campaign.
Portugal’s bright star was linked with a deadline day move to Manchester United last summer but nothing ever materialised and he stayed at Benfica. This season, Sanches has matured further and now stands tall as the best midfielder in Portuguese football. He is a competent passer with a similar stature to Yaya Toure. If nothing else, he certainly looks like he’d cope with the physical demands of England’s top flight.
At just 18 years old, Sanches is incredibly raw. However, he has immense ability and would be a tremendous asset for any Premier League side. Having said that, the Red Devils may try their luck once again this summer. And while they might not be involved in next season’s Champions League, the lure of United and Old Trafford may be too tempting to turn down.
Lacazette was scoring goals for fun last year and the France striker has continued in the same vein this term, netting 17 league goals so far this season. In fact, only Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored more Ligue 1 goals this campaign – which is testament to Lacazette’s finishing ability.
And guess who are in desperate need of a proven striker? Arsenal. The Gunners simply cannot afford to pass on Lacazette and he could be the man to lead Arsene Wenger’s side to the Premier League title. His place in France’s Euro squad isn’t confirmed just yet but his club form will stand him in good stead to land a spot in Didier Deschamps’ 23-man roster.
Since signing for Bayern Munich in 2013, Gotze has struggled to hold a place in the starting line-up and the Germany midfielder may look for a move to England’s top flight this summer. For the past few months, Gotze has been linked with a transfer to Liverpool – largely due to the Jurgen Klopp connection. Klopp was the player’s manager during his Borussia Dortmund days and the two remain good friends to this day.
Gotze, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, will be looking to make another huge impact for his country this summer as Joachim Loew’s side aim to win a fourth European Championship title. But after the tournament, it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see the midfielder move to Anfield as Klopp continues to build a potential title-winning squad.
The 36-year-old is out of contract this summer and could push for a move to the Premier League. Ibrahimovic has played in the top divisions in Spain, Italy and France but England’s top flight has always eluded him. However, he could be about to join a Premier League side in one of the most eagerly anticipated transfers for quite some time. But which club will move for him first…?
Reports suggest that Zlatan has claimed he will only join Manchester United if Louis van Gaal is NOT the manager. And with the Old Trafford hierarchy silent on the Dutchman’s position, another Premier League club may swoop in with a tempting offer to try and lure the Sweden international away from United. Above all, neutrals will be hoping for more self-centred interviews from Ibrahimovic IF he joins an English club this summer.