football

Whose Value has Gone up Since the World Cup?

July 20, 2018

- Grant Whittington

Now that the 21st World Cup has come to an end, football fans across the globe have begun to experience withdrawal. There’s no need to fear – the start of the new Premier League season is a mere three weeks away and we’re bound to see plenty of transfer activity before the 2018/19 campaign gets underway.

These transfers will undoubtedly involve a number of players whose stock has soared during the world cup, as managers seek to strengthen their squad. Here, we’ll take a look at which players and what moves are likely to be made.

Eden Hazard, Belgium and Chelsea

This brilliant Belgian has cut a disappointing figure at Chelsea for a while now and his frustrations surfaced again following the FA Cup final victory back in May. He’s suggested that the time may have come for him to leave Stamford Bridge, following Belgium’s third place win in Russia and it’s highly unlikely he’ll leave before the Blues’ EPL campaign kicks off.

Chelsea fans can at least take solace in the fact that Hazard’s value has soared during the last few weeks, as he scored an impressive three goals, provided two assists and 40 successful dribbles – more than any other player in the World Cup. This has raised speculation that Real Madrid may finally be poised to pounce, with a deal well in excess of £200 million for the 27-year old.

Barcelona may also be interested in the outstanding Belgian, with some reports suggesting that they’re willing to offer Ousmane Dembele and cash to complete a move. Either way, Hazard is surely on his way out of Stamford Bridge, with La Liga his most likely destination.

Harry Maguire, England and Leicester City

At numerous times during the World Cup, Harry Maguire looked like England’s most effective player at both ends of the pitch. Maguire managed the back-line brilliantly, commanded the ball and emerged as one of the most complete central defenders of any participating nation in Russia.

Maguire’s value has subsequently soared far beyond the £7 million that Leicester paid Hull last June. If rumours are to be believed, the impressive and authoritative nature of his performance has also captured the attention of Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, who is searching for a new centre back to strengthen his backline.

While it’s not clear at this stage exactly how many clubs are considering signing Maguire, it’s hard to picture him staying at the King Power Stadium into the new season.

Ivan Perisic, Croatia and Inter Milan

Last summer it looked as though Mourinho was on the verge of signing the intelligent and talented Croatian, only for the deal to fall through as either side failed to agree a transfer fee. It seemed dead in the water, particularly after Perisic endured a subdued season at Internazionale and struggled to live up to the previous seasons’ form.

Interestingly, he managed to produce the same number of goal involvements (19) as Anthony Martial, despite spending more than a thousand minutes more out on the pitch. However, Perisic shone at the World Cup, combining skill, intelligence and movement to drive Croatia to the final. This appears to have reinvigorated talks of a move to Old Trafford this summer, particularly with the future of Martial unclear and Mourinho seemingly dissatisfied with his attacking options.

The only stumbling block is the fee – if a deal is completed, it will certainly cost more than Inter were asking for last year.

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