5 Euro 2016 qualifying stars that could light up the Premier League
European Championships can often lead to Premier League clubs scouting those who have had a stand-out tournament.
The likes of Karel Poborksy, Sylvain Wiltord and Roman Pavlyuchenko all earned moves to big clubs after strutting their stuff on the international scene.
However, the sheer number of qualifying games players are required to play in these days means some can put themselves in the shop window long before a tournament has even begun.
Here are five players who have stood out in qualifying so far that could just end up plying their trade in the Premier League.
Fabian Schar – Switzerland
Arsenal missed out on the 23-year-old last summer with the centre-back instead moving from Basel to Hoffenheim.
Schar has been the bedrock of a Swiss defence that has kept four clean sheets and is on the brink of qualifying for the finals, while a total of two goals and one assist from his five outings show he can carry his weight in attack.
He managed nine goals from 52 games for his first club FC Wil 1900 and also hit nine for Basel. With goalscoring defenders a rare commodity in the Premier League the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United could opt to make Arsenal rue a missed opportunity.
Kamil Grosicki – Poland
Rennes winger Grosicki has been one of the creative sparks that has kept Poland in the qualification running in a group containing World Cup winners Germany and a rejuvenated Republic of Ireland.
The 27-year-old has hit four goals in seven qualifiers and while all four came against lowly Gibraltar his domestic returns are none too shabby. Ten strikes from 45 games with Jagiellonia in Poland and 14 from 90 with Sivasspor in Turkey highlight his potency.
Making a name for yourself in a team boasting Robert Lewandowski, Jakub Blaszczykowski and Arkadiusz Milik is no mean feat and the Rennes man could prove a shrewd buy for those fighting for Premier League survival.
Borek Dockal – Czech Republic
Midfielders who regularly get on the score sheet in the mould of Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes are hard to find and while Sparta Prague ace Dockal is a long way from being mentioned in the same breath as those two greats he certainly has a knack for finding the net.
Strikes against Holland, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Iceland – all but one in games that the Czechs won – have helped to ensure qualification and the 27-year-old is no slouch on the domestic front either.
A total of 14 goals in 55 games for Rosenborg earned the midfielder a move to Sparta and after hitting 13 goals in 53 games since 2013 he could soon be on the radar of a few English sides.
Omer Damari – Israel
It’s fair to say that Israel has offered more flops than stars to the Premier League with Yossi Benayoun, Tal Ben Haim, Eyal Berkovic and Ronny Rosenthal the stand-out players from the 14 to have plied their trade in England’s top flight.
However, Red Bull Salzburg forward Omer Damari could boost those numbers if someone takes a punt on the 26-year-old.
A goal machine at Hapoel Tel Aviv, his 56 strikes in 101 games saw Austria Wien snap him up. A haul of eight goals in 13 games followed before the goals dried up at RB Leipzig. A loan spell at Salzburg has got the juices flowing once again, however, and three strikes in five this season echo his form on the international scene.
Five goals in five games, including one in the 3-0 victory over Bosnia and Herzegovina, have kept up the pressure on Wales and Belgium and while the Blue and Whites are not excepted to qualify the striker has earned many a new fan.
Georgios Efrem – Cyprus
Cyprus may have been a long way off qualification for Euro 2016 but they were not the whipping boys many expected, with a 2-1 win against Bosnia and Herzegovina and a narrow 2-1 loss away to Wales showing their strength.
One of the stars of the show has been Arsenal reject Georgios Efrem. The 26-year-old played in the Gunners youth sides from 2004 to 2007 before moving to Rangers, where he also failed to break into the first team.
Now plying his trade in the Cypriot top flight with APOEL FC, the winger has scored three and set up one in four qualifying appearances and would likely relish the chance to prove his doubters wrong back in the UK.
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