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WhoScored: Zabaleta-Sterling a key battle

Tactics And Analysis 12 hours ago
Read
Jun 26, 2008

Big moves await for star performers

With the tournament now drawing to a close, a host of Europe's top clubs will begin work trying to recruit some of the stars of Euro 2008.

Already there have been a number of contracts signed before the tournament, including the £16.5million sale of Croatian star Luka Modric to Tottenham; but Euro 2008 has also unearthed a number of gems who will be keen to use their performances over the past month as a springboard to better things.

As the start of the new season draws ever closer, here are a number of names expected to cash in on the attention they have received and move on this summer.

Andrei Arshavin - Russia
Having missed the first two games of the Russian campaign through suspension, the Zenit St Petersburg forward has grasped his chance on the biggest European stage with both hands.

An influential figure in Zenit's UEFA Cup win last season, Arshavin has made it clear that he wants to leave Russia to fulfil his ambition of playing for one of Europe's elite. Arsene Wenger has said he wishes he had seen him when he was younger, but Barcelona look the most likely to snap up the Euro 2008 star after he claimed he would love to join the club he supported as a boy.

His 'dream' move to the Nou Camp could see him fill the shoes of another playmaker, in the departing Ronaldinho, and after single-handedly dispatching Holland, his price looks set to rise to around £20million. Striker Roman Pavlyuchenko could be another to move on from Russia, with Celtic eyeing a deal for the Spartak Moscow frontman.

Lukas Podolski - Germany
Not even a shoe-in to begin Germany's campaign in the starting line-up, the Polish-born striker leapt to the fore with a brace against Poland from the left-wing. Taking the goalscoring burden away from the misfiring Miroslav Klose and Mario Gomez, Podolski has been used in a more attacking role as coach Joachim Loew changed his formation around, to good effect.

However, he has been unable to replicate his international form with Bayern Munich, having started only eight games in 2007/08 and has vented his frustration at a lack of opportunities in the Bundesliga. His comments have alerted Tottenham, but he looks likely to return to his hometown club FC Cologne in a bid to get more playing time.

Deco - Portugal
The Portuguese midfield maestro looked something like his old self before Portugal succumbed to Germany in the quarter-finals. With all eyes on Ronaldo and his potential world-record transfer to Real Madrid, Deco blossomed in the space he was allowed and now has a host of clubs trailing him after he was told he has no future at Barcelona.

The 30-year old has not been at his peak since masterminding Barcelona's Champions League win in 2006 and the club have already replaced him by signing Seydou Keita from Sevilla. Therefore a reunion with former boss Jose Mourinho is on the cards at Inter Milan, but the midfielder also has the option of linking up with ex-Portugal coach Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea. Having proved he can still be a force to be reckoned with on the European stage, Barca may not let him go cheaply and his sale may fund their bid for Russia's Arshavin.

Arda Turan - Turkey
The diminutive winger has been one of the best players in the Turkish league for the past few seasons and, despite not starting their first group game, proved that he is the future of the international team as well.

Just 21, Arda's pace and trickery caused the Swiss and Czech defences no end of trouble and his suspension for the semi-final against Germany was a major contributing factor in their defeat. With Newcastle admiring the youngster from afar, the Galatasary star looks set to move to Serie A. His agent has claimed that Milan and Juventus are battling it out for his signature, although after showcasing his skills in Austria & Switzerland, a price tag of around £12million looks likely.

David Villa - Spain
A hat-trick against Russia in Spain's first game of Euro 2008 reminded everyone that Fernando Torres is not the only impressive striker currently in Luis Aragones' starting XI. The Valencia frontman has long been considered a fine finisher but, after Torres' £24million move to Liverpool, has often been in the shadow of 'El Nino' when in the national team set-up.

Valencia's shocking La Liga campaign last season has seen a number of their star players attract attention and Villa's performances for Spain have shot him to the top of many wanted lists. Liverpool would love to pair him with Torres but may be put off by the inflated transfer fee of £25million being quoted by many in the press. More likely, Villa will stay in Spain and head to either Real Madrid or Barcelona; while his team-mate, winger David Silva, could also be on the move, with Arsenal and Barcelona reportedly fighting it out for his signature.

Andreas Isaksson - Sweden
Still the Swedish first choice, despite losing out to Joe Hart in the Manchester City first XI, Isaksson is certain to be on the move with new boss Mark Hughes coming in to the Eastlands job.

Once seen as one of the best young goalkeepers around, Isaksson impressed between the sticks in an otherwise disappointing Swedish performance and has attracted the attention of PSV who are looking to replace the departing Gomes. Atlético Madrid could also be an option, but Isaksson really needs to play regularly if he's to maintain his position in the national team.

Rafael Van der Vaart - Holland
When Van der Vaart first made the move to Hamburg from Ajax, he was criticised for lacking ambition as a host of top clubs were interested in his services as a youngster. Now 25, the Dutch midfielder showed his class in Holland's surprise demolition of the 'Group of Death' and looks ready for his big move abroad.

A fan of Barcelona, the creative playmaker would be a great replacement for Deco and has sent tabloid tongues wagging by claiming he will 'consider' a move after the tournament has finished. Chelsea and Man Utd are also tracking the talented midfielder, although he hasn't ruled out staying with Hamburg.

Eren Derdiyok - Switzerland
Stepping into the hole left by the injured Alexander Frei, the 20-year-old was one of the few youngsters to get a run-out in the first XI for the majority of the tournament.

Granted it was only three games long for the Swiss, as they departed in the group stages, but the FC Basel striker showed enough potential in his brief cameo to suggest he could make it at the top level. Setting up two goals, Derdiyok's pace was a constant threat to defences and Newcastle have already expressed an interest at around £6million. With Kevin Keegan building for next season, Switzerland's hope for the future could become Newcastle's.


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