Thus far, Euro 2016 has not exactly been a classic tournament, although that could yet change in the knockout stages when tournament progression, rather than points are on the line. That being said, there have still been some notable and impressive performances from certain teams and certain players. Here, I’ve identified a few players who have caught my eye and could be potential targets for Premier League clubs.
Obviously, Morata is well known throughout Europe and has improved his all round game since his €20m move to Juventus in 2014. He was panned by many critics for his performance in Spain’s opening group match, but I thought his movement was reflective of what he is used to at Juventus, with the runs off Paul Pogba and an example of how different Spain’s build up play and midfield runs are. Interestingly though, in Spain’s next two group games he stayed more central, using his pace and runs off the defender to get into good positions and get amongst the goals. Real Madrid could clearly see the opportunity that was presenting itself and exercised the reported €30m buy-back clause they had for him. However, Real Madrid exercising that clause does not necessarily mean he will be at the Bernabeu at the start of the new season as the feeling is Real are simply using it as a way to make an easy profit. PSG have expressed an interest, Manchester United and Chelsea have been linked recently and Arsenal are known to be admirers of the 23 year old strikers’ talents. So there could be a bidding war ahead and we may yet see him in the Premier League.
The Polish defensive midfielder has been quietly making a name for himself across Europe with some impressive displays for Sevilla, helping them to successive Europa League wins. His performance against Germany was one that stood out for me in a game that saw Die Mannschaft dominate possession, but fail to break down a resolute Poland side. Toni Kroos has understandably been getting praise and attention for his displays, but I thought Krychowiak’s awareness, positioning and reading of the play somewhat over shadowed his illustrious adversary in this contest. He bossed and ran the match for Poland, where despite having less of the play, they not only restricted their opponents, but also had the better of the chances against them. I firmly believe Krychowiak has the class and ability to be a mainstay of any of the leading Premier League clubs’ midfield and it’s not surprising that PSG are rumoured to be hot on his case.
Another Polish player who has stood out for me is Arkadiusz Milik. The striker has been prolific in the Eredivisie for Ajax, scoring league 21 goals in 31 matches this season, as well as racking up a number of assists and despite the Dutch league being quite weak, the 22 year old has matured well during his spell in Amsterdam. He also got 6 goals for Poland in qualifying, as well as the winner against Northern Ireland in their opening group game. Against Germany, despite missing a couple of good chances, his movement and ability to create danger impressed me. He was linked with Leicester City last month and that would look to be an ideal move for both parties because although he may miss chances, his movement, talent and creativity, mixed with the fact that he is not the finished article and has room to improve could make him a great investment for any Premier League side just below the ‘big clubs’.
Liverpool have been linked with the FC Köln defender and German affiliation aside, it’s not difficult to see why. He has established himself as Germany’s first choice left-back and shown in this tournament so far that he offers great balance between attacking and defending. The modern game has become preoccupied with full-backs that can attack, whilst forgetting the other side of the game, but not so Hector. He balances the two out very well and his positioning is of not over committing forward, but still in place to offer and support as an attacking threat. With a rumoured price tag in the region of £12m, if Liverpool do not move for him then someone else surely will.