The knockout phase of the Europa League begins this week with eight teams from the group phase of the Champions League joining proceedings and plenty of players likely to be attracting attention from the Premier League.
Roma go into Thursday’s fixtures as the 10/1 favourites to win the tournament with Liverpool just behind them at 11/1 while Napoli and Wolfsburg can both be backed at 12/1 respectively.
Yet despite the formidable foursome dominating proceedings in the outright betting, none of these sides feature in our countdown of five players who could be heading to an English top-flight outfit in the not-too-distant future.
Guillaume Hoarau – Young Boys
A free agent last summer following a brief stint back in France with Bordeaux, Hoarau made his name at Paris Saint-Germain before the arrival of Qatar Sports Investments saw the targetman lose his place in the starting line-up.
Prior to that the 6ft 4in striker had impressed enough to earn a call-up for Les Bleus and while his career suffered something of a setback following a failed stint in China with Dalian Aerbin, he looks back to his best in Switzerland and has already scored five times in the Europa League.
Previously linked with the likes of Stoke City, the 30-year-old could yet head to England.
Patrick Herrmann – Borussia Monchengladbach
One of Gladbach’s prized assets, Herrmann came through the youth ranks at Stadion im Borussia-Park and has played 145 Bundesliga games for the club, operating predominately as an attacking midfielder for one of the sleeping giants of German football.
In the midst of his best season to date in front of goal for Lucien Favre’s team, Herrmann has scored four times in the Europa League already this term and has attracted plenty of admiring glances from across the continent, with a Premier League move one very real possibility.
Arkadiusz Milik – Ajax
Reportedly scouted by Newcastle United earlier this month ahead of a potential Magpies bid in the summer, Milik has been a revelation in the Eredivisie so far this season, scoring 17 goals in 16 outings for the Amsterdam giants to date.
On loan at the club from Bayer Leverkusen, the 20-year-old has already shown he is no Dutch top-flight flash-in-the-pan either with some important goals for Poland in Euro 2016 qualifying.
Milik scored five in eight outings for the national side last year with an important equaliser against Scotland and another in a famous 2-0 victory over Germany the notable highlights.
Jonathan Soriano – Red Bull Salzburg
Another late-bloomer being backed for a move to the Premier League, with Newcastle United thought to be keen on the Spaniard, Soriano finished top scorer in the Europa League last term with eight goals, including a memorable strike against Ajax, and remains one to watch.
A goalscorer for Salzburg in their 2-2 group phase draw with Celtic, the former Barcelona B striker has found the net five times in this season’s competition already and the 29-year-old will be determined to continue that kind of form in the knockout phase and earn a move to England.
Aleksandar Mitrovic – Anderlecht
A goalscorer in Anderlecht’s memorable, albeit futile, three-goal fight back against Arsenal at the Emirates, the 20-year-old Serbian has long been tipped for big things away from Belgium with several of the Premier League’s big hitters linked with moves for the striker.
Swansea City were most recently tipped to move for the ex-Partizan Belgrade goal poacher, who has scored 32 goals in 69 games for his current Brussels employers and looks primed for Premier League action having scored twice in four Champions League outings this term.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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