While the World Cup may be the greatest show on earth for the billions of football fans watching around the globe, it’s also the greatest shop window for players and the agents and clubs who can make a substantial profit off them. From El Hadji Diouf to James Rodriguez, there are copious examples of excellent World Cup campaigns springboarding club careers along an upward and usually highly lucrative trajectory.
And when a lesser fancied nation like Mexico upsets the odds against reigning champions like Germany, recruiters around the footballing world inevitably have to pay attention. The Central American nation unexpectedly beat Die Mannshaft 1-0 on Sunday in a performance that combined defensive resilience with incredible speed and flair on the break and although it was a fantastic team display, some individuals inevitably stood out.
Everton have been mooted as potential suitors for Hirving Lozano, the potent forward who grabbed the only goal of the game, but another young Mexican should be on their radar as well after Sunday’s performance – the 23-year-old who protected the left flank just behind the PSV attacker, Jesus Gallardo. Hardly a household name in Europe, but a promising talent nonetheless who could develop a whole new raft of admirers from the continent by the time the competition comes to an end.
Indeed, during what was only his 22nd appearance for Mexico, the left-back quelled the threat from not only right winger Thomas Muller – one of the most talented forwards in the world – but also Mesut Ozil – one of the most talented playmakers in the world – who drifted out to the wing to try and find space and right-back Joshua Kimmich – unquestionably one of the most talented young players in Europe.
Lozano certainly helped him in that regard, but Gallardo did much of it himself, making the most interceptions and clearances of any Mexico player while blocking the second-most shots.
Everton too are in desperate need of another option at left-back with Leighton Baines now 33 years of age and failing to make 30 Premier League appearances twice over the last three seasons due to injury problems. But in terms of bringing Gallardo to Goodison Park this summer, the situation gets a little complex, because he’s already agreed to leave Pumas for fellow Mexican side Monterrey – a transfer that officially comes into effect on July 1st.
But the deal was for less than £5million and we’ve seen similar scenarios before – Martin Demichelis, for example, moved to Manchester City just three months after he signed for Malaga back in summer 2013 without making a single league appearance. And because his transfer fee is so low, offering Monterrey the chance to double their money without Gallardo even playing for the club might just be enough to convince them to sell.
From the Toffees’ perspective too, signing Gallardo as well might just make it that bit easier for Lozano to settle at the Merseyside club, both on and off the pitch, and allow the hugely talented youngster to truly flourish in the Premier League.
So, Everton fans, would you back a swoop for Gallardo following Sunday’s performance? Let us know by voting below…