Schick Hot! Euro 2020 stars who could make a Premier League move this summer.23.06.2021 11:03:56
While there are plenty of examples of players signed after major tournaments that have kicked on and excelled in the Premier League, there are stacks of examples of those who have regressed to their mean rather rapidly.
Names like El Hadji-Diouf, Karel Poborsky, Kleberson and Stephane Guivarc’h are all destined to be nothing more than footnotes in Premier League history, and yet just weeks prior to being snapped up by an English club they had looked world class on the global stage.
Sadly it turned out that they were more egg beater than world beater. Indeed it just goes to show the risk managers take when investing in big tournament stars whose transfer fees are inflated significantly as a consequence of their efforts.
That said, Euro 2020 has served up a number of international stars who look well primed to succeed in the Premier League, and with English clubs once again likely to dominate the transfer window with their gregarious spending, you would expect at least a few of those in this list to find their way to the promised land this summer.
One of the surprise packages of the tournament – not in their progress to the knockout phase, but in how well they have played – is Italy.
They have been defensively stout – that’s the Italian way – but have shown much more attacking flair under Roberto Mancini, who has created a team in his own guise.
One of the chief beneficiaries of the cosmopolitan approach has been Manuel Locatelli, who has been given the licence to bomb forward as a traditional number eight.
The 23-year-old rewarded Mancini with two goals in the group stage, and his willingness to get forward and link up with Sassuolo teammate Domenico Berardi, Ciro Immobile and Lorenzo Insigne has been a key feature of the progress the Azzurri have made.
While improving year on year, Sassuolo finished eighth in Serie A last term and so Locatelli looks ripe for the plucking – it’s rare for Italians to move to the Premier League, but his all-action style would suit either Manchester City or Liverpool, where he would act as the link between midfield and attack.
He became a viral video sensation with his goal from the halfway line against Scotland.
But Patrick Schick is far more than a flash in the pan, and his goal record on the continent is fitting of a striker who would surely do well in the Premier League.
Prolific in a short spell at Sampdoria, the Czech frontman did struggle with the expectation on his shoulders following a record move to Roma.
But the switch to German football has worked wonders for Schick, who first for RB Leipzig and now for Bayer Leverkusen averages roughly a goal every other game – an excellent ratio by anybody’s measure.
He has taken the responsibility of leading the Czech Republic line with great authority – his three goals making him the joint top scorer for much of the group phase, and at 25 Schick is perhaps just about to hit his prime.
A decent physical presence, he can comfortably act as a lone frontman – he might be the perfect replacement for Harry Kane should he end up moving to pastures new.
Growing up, Robin Gosens wanted to be a police officer – but now he is an arresting sight galloping down the left flank for Germany at Euro 2020.
A player who has looked far from world class at times in his career, Gosens has enjoyed being part of Gian Piero Gasperini’s front foot style at Atalanta, and his trademark bursts forward from the left-wing back position have been clear for all to see with the 26-year-old excellent in the final third of the pitch.
Equally adept in defensive areas, Gosens’ skillset is a unique one, and he’s another for whom the queue to snap him up this summer will not be short.
It’s been a long time since Manchester City had a quality player in the left back position, and the German could well be the answer – Leicester and Arsenal will also be keeping tabs on his situation.
Given the freedom to attack the penalty area from his right wing back slot, Denzel Dumfries has rewarded the Netherlands with a handful of goals already in Euro 2020.
Managers love players like Dumfries – those who are fearless in the attacking third but who defend diligently too, and the 25-year-old is the perfect full back for the contemporary game given his willingness to commit to both departments.
An excellent athlete, Dumfries has scored 21 goals and assisted 25 more in 187 games at Eredivisie and international level, and for a player tasked with defensive responsibilities that is an excellent return.
If Jurgen Klopp has any doubts about the future of Trent Alexander-Arnold then Dumfries may well be earmarked as a possible replacement, while the likes of Tottenham would love to get their hands on a wing back who excels in defence and attack rather than just one or the other.
After signing for Borussia Dortmund as a teenager, much was expected from Alexander Isak.
As is often the case with precocious young talents, sometimes progress can be stilted – it took a prolific loan spell at Dutch side Willem II to perhaps remind Isak himself of the gifts he possesses.
A switch to Real Sociedad was considered a savvy move for a now 21-year-old in need of regular game time, and the 2020/21 campaign has seen a major breakthrough for him.
A return of 17 goals in 34 LaLiga games is eye-catching indeed, and so naturally Isak linked up with Sweden ahead of Euro 2020 brimming with confidence.
And he has delivered for his national team with a series of powerful performances, and his ability to challenge for – and win – aerial ball, his willingness to come short for the ball to feet or run in behind marks Isak out as a ‘complete’ forward.
Which Premier League club wouldn’t want one of those? Isak is another Euro 2020 star who will be on the radar of English clubs this summer.
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