Prem Bound? Welsh hero and four other stars impressing at Euro 2016
Euro 2016 is in full swing and a crop of new stars are making their name on the big stage. And that means that managers across the Premier League will be taking notice – and taking notes – when they spot a sensational strike or perfectly-timed tackle.
Here are five men who’ve impressed so far, and which Premier League teams they’d be a perfect buy for.
GK: Yann Sommer (Borussia Monchengladbach & Switzerland)
The Swiss keeper drew admiring glances after an impressive performance in the 1-0 win over Albania, but those who follow the Bundesliga will not have been surprised by his impressive handling – with many tipping him for another clean sheet against Romania on Wednesday at 6/4.
An integral part of Monchengladbach’s surprise success during the past two seasons, the agile ‘keeper kept four clean sheets in his last 12 outings in the German top-flight, following those up with his impressive Euros display for Schweizer pati.
Liverpool could look to acquire the experienced keeper following Simon Mignolet’s consistently underwhelming displays, while Everton could look to replace the departed Tim Howard with the 27-year-old.
Meanwhile, champions Leicester could well be in the market for an experienced stopper as they juggle European and domestic duties next season.
Transfermarkt.co.uk valuation: £7.5m / Potential Prem Clubs: Everton, Liverpool, Leicester City
RB: Elseid Hysaj (Napoli & Albania)
The 22-year-old was one of Napoli’s most impressive performers in 2015-16, as I Ciucciarelli finished Serie A in second spot, conceding just 32 times in 38 games.
And the skilful and powerful full-back has established himself as the star man for national side Albania – putting in another lively display as they were narrowly beaten by Switzerland.
With Mathieu Debuchy set to exit the Emirates permanently, the Shkoder native is rumoured to be Arsene Wenger’s choice to provide competition to current first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin.
Having now experienced a major international tournament, as well as club football in European competition, it’s unlikely that the Premier League would faze this man, and while Arsenal look the frontrunners, he’d also be a good fit for Man United, who lacked depth out wide last season.
Transfermarkt.co.uk valuation: £9m / Potential Prem Clubs: Arsenal, Man United, West Ham United
CB: Leonardo Bonucci (Juventus & Italy)
Both robust and cultured, tough and talented, the Italy centre-back left Twitter drooling after his sensational assist for Emmanuele Giaccherini in last night’s 2-0 victory over Belgium.
The 29-year-old has won all there is in Italian football, with six Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia winners’ medals to his name, and rumour is that he’s ready for a new challenge. And following a sensational six years for the Old Lady, there will be no shortage of suitors on our shores.
Having also chipped in with goals to add to his superb distribution and tackling, he’s sure to attract attention from the big names in England.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly keen on adding steel to Man United’s armoury, while Bonucci’s former boss Antonio Conte could look to lure him to Chelsea.
Transfermarkt.co.uk valuation: £22.5m / Potential Prem Clubs: Man United, Arsenal, Chelsea
Winger: Hal Robson-Kanu (Unattached & Wales)
The tricky Welsh winger turned down a new deal with Championship side Reading this summer, with his sights seemingly set on a move to the top-flight. And, following a deftly-taken winner against Slovakia at the weekend, the 7/2 for him to get a Premier League move this summer looks to be excellent value indeed.
He chipped in with seven assists and three goals in the league, proving to be one of the few bright sparks in a disappointing season for the Royals. But more impressive displays for Wales at Euro 2016 could well put Prem clubs on high-alert.
The bookies clearly back him to continue lighting up the big stage in France, with his odds of being top-scorer tumbling from 250/1 to 80/1. A move to Swansea – alongside national teammates Ashley Williams and Neil Taylor – is perhaps the most likely move, although goal-shy West Brom could also look to acquire the former Swindon Town loanee.
Transfermarkt.co.uk valuation: N/A / Potential Prem Clubs: Swansea, West Brom, Burnley
Arkadiusz ‘Arek’ Milik (Ajax & Poland)
It’s fair to say the 22-year-old striker arrived at the Euros on rather good form, having bagged 12 goals in 11 games for the Amsterdam giants to close out the Eredivisie campaign.
But while stars of Dutch football have sometimes struggled to adapt to the pace and physicality of the Premier League, the man from Tychy would appear to have no such problems.
He’s netted 10 times in his last 19 for Poland, including a strike against tournament heavyweights Germany, and he’s 10/3 to net against them in Group C’s most anticipated clash, on Thursday.
At Euro 2016, he’s already proved too hot to handle for a Northern Ireland defence which contained several Premier League regulars. And the Ajax man who told the media back in 2012, “my dream is to play for Manchester United” could be facing those Norn Irish defenders again come the start of the Prem season.
Transfermarkt.co.uk valuation: £7.5m / Potential Prem Clubs: Tottenham, Man City, Man United
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.