For up and coming talent, the World Cup provides a wonderfully unrivalled shop window. Whereas domestic performances may go unnoticed, a good display at the World Cup means that players may get to secure the dream transfer that they’ve been wishing for on the basis of as little as two or three good performances. Whilst such ‘selling’ clubs may rue the exposure of their talent, the World Cup simultaneously acts to inflate players’ price-tags, with many valuations rocketing during the course of the tournament. The 2010 edition of FIFA’s showpiece is no different, and it seems as though the following players may have added a few million to their price-tags already…
It may be strange selecting a player from a side who have lost both their games so far at the World Cup, but goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama has been the man responsible for ensuring that his side have been beaten by respectable scorelines.
The previously unheralded Hapoel Tel Aviv custodian has been in inspired form, pulling off a string of world-class saves during the course of Nigeria’s clashes with Argentina and Greece. Enyeama’s efforts in thwarting Lionel Messi and co lead to him being named Man of the Match despite his side’s eventual defeat. Thankfully, it seems as though Enyeama’s form has not gone unnoticed, with both West Ham United and Arsenal rumoured to be weighing up bids for the Nigerian. At 27, Enyeama is a relative spring chicken in goalkeeping terms, and would be a great buy for either of the London sides looking to secure his signature.
Symbolic of Germany’s youthful squad, Werder Bremen playmaker Mesut Ozil has heavily impressed during his time in South Africa thus far. Against Australia Ozil was mesmeric, bamboozling the opposition with his vision, technique and creativity. Whilst he did not manage to find the net, Ozil played a huge part in several of Germany’s goals against the Socceroos, helping the side to cope with the absence of the talismanic Michael Ballack.
Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool had all been linked with the 21-year-old prior to the start of the tournament, but the playmaker’s performances will surely mean that the trio will face stiff competition for Ozil’s signature this summer.
Several sources have suggested that Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is preparing a bid for Udinese winger Alexis Sanchez, and it is no surprise given the form that the Chilean has shown so far at the World Cup. Sanchez, was hugely influential in his side’s 1-0 victory over Honduras, impressing the watching world with his tricks, skill and decisive attacking play.
The Chile side garnered much acclaim for their rampant, attacking performance against Honduras, and it seems as though Sanchez exemplifies the style of his side. Sanchez carried this form in to his side’s second game (against Switzerland), and the man dubbed as ‘the new Cristiano Ronaldo’ was unlucky to have a goal ruled out for offside. It looks increasingly unlikely that Sanchez will be plying his trade at Udinese next season.
A colleague of mine recently wrote about how Eljero Elia may attract attention at the World Cup this summer, and it seems as though his prophecy has been fulfilled. Despite racking up just 43 minutes of action as a substitute during the Netherlands’ first two games, Elia has managed to impress with his trickery and creativity. During his side’s opening game against Denmark, Elia managed to inject excitement and spark into the game during his cameo, creating the chance which led to Dirk Kuyt scoring the Netherland’s second goal.
The Hamburg winger had a similar impact when brought on during Saturday’s clash with Japan, and only failed to rack up his second assist due to Ibrahim Afellay’s failure to finish when one on one with Japan’s goalkeeper.
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