Following the World Cup, OTP takes a look at the possible talent that could be moving to the Premier League this summer after impressing on the world’s biggest stage.
1. Diego Forlan
Impressive throughout the tournament, the ex-Manchester United flop has lived up to his potential with Atletico Madrid in Spain. After receiving the player of the tournament award for four goals in six games, the Uruguayan has gained a lot of admirers and would cost around £20million.
Would like to meet: Despite saying he doesn’t want a Prem return, a call from Chelsea could be tempting. He would also be very welcome at Spurs if ‘Arry could talk him into it.
2. Mesut Özil
The 21-year-old from Werder Bremen was just one of the German youngsters to show their class throughout the tournament after winning the under 21 championships last year. His World Cup will be remembered most for his stunning winning goal against Ghana in the group stages. With three assists too, an inflated post-World Cup price tag could mean around £25million to prise him from Germany.
Would like to meet: He could provide a cutting edge to Manchester United’s midfield and Chelsea might also be tempted.
3. Asamoah Gyan
Ghana’s leading man already has 22 goals in 44 games for his country, including three at this summer’s World Cup. He proved he can handle the rough and tumble of Premier League football, if not the pressure of last-minute quarter-finals penalties. French club Rennes might not seem so alluring compared to a big-money Premier League move and he could be a snip at £15million.
Would like to meet: Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is known to be an admirer, and a link up with Ghanaian team-mates means West Ham and Sunderland are also possible destinations.
4. Luis Suárez
The 23-year-old striker has risen to prominence over the last three years with his current club side Ajax with a staggering 74 goals in only 97 games and his season goal tallies over that period read like half-decent batting averages. Despite three goals, his handball against Ghana will live longest in the memory.
Would like to meet: Arsenal are in the market for a new keeper. Failing that, Man Utd, Chelsea and Spurs have all been sniffing around.
5. Anthony Annan
Seen to be the next Claude Makelele, this diminutive defensive midfielder has come from nowhere to star at the World Cup for Ghana. Currently with Norwegian champions Rosenborg, he’s keen on a move to England and would be a bargain at around £12million.
Would like to meet: Sir Alex Ferguson has missed out on his fair share of future Makeleles, so he might be keen to secure Annan.
6. Fabio Coentrao
The Benfica left-back was relatively unknown before the World Cup but turned out to be the one positive in Portugal’s campaign. In recent seasons he’s been loaned out from Benfica for first team experience but the 22-year-old has now found many admirers in England, and would cost around £18million.
Would like to meet: Chelsea see him as the perfect replacement if they lose Ashley Cole.
7. Eljero Elia
A versatile attacker who can play left or right wing as well as striker. He made a series of exciting cameo appearances for the Dutch. Unafraid to go past a defender, Elia’s main attribute is his blistering pace. Currently with Hamburg in Germany but linked with £16million moves.
Would like to meet: Spurs and Arsenal could add him to their pacey winger collections.
8. Keisuke Honda
One of the few players to master the Jabulani, he is seen by many as a possible bargain second striker or attacking midfielder. He had a fantastic World Cup, not just bagging himself a couple of goals but putting in some decent all-round performances. Currently with Russian outfit CSKA Moscow, many expect him to be on the move soon for around £15million.
Would like to meet: Alex McLeish is known to be an admirer and Birmingham have the Asian connections. Finances might be a stumbling block.
9. Landon Donovan
He impressed while on loan at Everton last season but has now returned to MLS side Los Angeles Galaxy after starring for the USA with three goals, including a dramatic winner against Algeria in stoppage time to put his team into the next round. He could cost only £10million.
Would like to meet: Everton will be wishing they had snapped him up before his asking price spiralled.
10. Thomas Muller
One of the standout players of the tournament and sorely missed by Germany when he was suspended for their semi-final against Spain. After an excellent season for Bayern Munich, Muller was already on the radars of many clubs before the World Cup. He will now cost a lot more though.
Would like to meet: Fergie would love to have Muller’s thrust as an alternative to Luis Antonio Valencia’s trickery. Chelsea and Arsenal would be interested too.