Euro 2012 could be the litmus test for certain players flirting with moves to bigger clubs.
Parlaying Euro success into a big-club payday has happened before, such as when Roman Pavlyuchenko’s Euro 2008 campaign sealed a £14 million move from Spartak Moscow to Tottenham Hotspur.
Here are eight players who could move to bigger clubs after Euro 2012.
Dynamo Kyiv, Left Attacking Midfielder, Age 22
Yuri Semin’s emphasis on a 4-2-3-1 and 4-1-3-2 ensures that Andriy Yarmolenko becomes more of a wide attacking midfielder than a conventional winger at Dynamo Kyiv.
Yarmolenko has profited from this system, scoring 17 goals and providing 12 assists in 44 games this season.
In a 1-1 draw against Stoke City in the Europa League, Yarmolenko’s trickery and control was on show, but he didn’t produce.
Yarmolenko’s transfer stock will rise if he has a standout tournament.
He could become a world-class player if he is converted into a centre forward. That is what Arsène Wenger did with Thierry Henry and Robin van Persie.
Given Yarmolenko’s familiarity with the 4-2-3-1 and his ability to play on both flanks, he could be a viable alternative to Lukas Podolski—if the German’s move to Arsenal collapses.
CSKA Moscow, Attacking Midfielder, Age 21
In an ideal world, Leonid Slutskiy would play Pontus Wernbloom as the defensive midfielder and have two attacking midfielders in Alan Dzagoev and Keisuke Honda.
Slutskiy has gone the pragmatic road, playing two workman-like centre midfielders in Wernbloom and Evgeni Aldonin.
In the games I’ve watched, Dzagoev has often started out wide.
A fractured toe will sideline the 21-year-old for the time being, but he should recover in time for Euro 2012.
AZ, Centre Midfielder, Age 24
Rasmus Elm’s teammate Pontus Wernbloom secured a lucrative move to CSKA Moscow, and if Elm performs for Sweden, he could make AZ some money.
He has looked solid in the Eredivisie, but he was pretty mediocre against Udinese and Valencia in the Europa League.
Just to fill you in on Elm’s playing style: immaculate ball control and strong passing.
Since Wernbloom’s departure, Elm has had to do a bit more of the dirty work, whilst Maarten Martens has been given the green light as the attacking midfielder.
The irony of Martens being the more advanced midfielder of the three is that Elm and Adam Maher have better vision and play more incisive passes.
PSV Eindhoven, Centre Midfielder, Age 22
I was quite surprised that the English tabloids labelled Kevin Strootman the “next Roy Keane” when the Dutchman leans more towards finesse than hardman.
What I fear for Strootman’s career is that he’ll be converted into a limited defensive midfielder like Mark van Bommel.
People often forget that van Bommel was an efficient attacking midfielder in his last season for PSV.
Rennes, Defensive Midfielder, Age 21
The issue with Yann M'Vila is his inflated transfer fee.
He’s a solid tackler but he isn’t a ball hawk like Javi Fuego. M'Vila’s passing is good, but it isn’t up to the standard of Andrea Pirlo.
So I have no idea why M'Vila is worth around £17-25 million. For £25 million, Arsenal could buy Étienne Capoue, Younes Belhanda and Willy Boly.
£10 million would be a fair transfer fee for M'Vila.
You see, with players like M'Vila, you need to identify them before their transfer fee spikes upwards.
Arsène Wenger did so with Patrick Vieira, Gilberto Silva, Alex Song, Emmanuel Petit and Mathieu Flamini—their combined transfer fee was £11.5 million.
Ajax, Attacking Midfielder, Age 20
Christian Eriksen is two-footed, his vision is exemplary, his technique is world-class and he is a nimble dribbler.
Whilst he doesn’t take on opponents at will like Luciano Narsingh, Eriksen’s passing in the final third is so efficient.
He pulls the strings for Ajax and was the main reason why Heerenveen were humbled 5-0 in front of their own supporters.
This season, Eriksen has accumulated 20 assists.
Schalke, Centre Forward, Age 28
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is the most clinical finisher in world football right now.
In his last 10 games, he has scored 10 goals.
This season, he has scored 43 goals in 45 games whilst Fernando Torres, Didier Drogba, Daniel Sturridge and Juan Mata combined for 41 goals.
Chelsea needs a forward like Huntelaar who isn’t afraid of missing. Why else do you think Torres passes the ball so much?
Köln, Deep-Lying Forward, Age: 26
If you’re an Arsenal supporter, just keep in mind that Lukas Podolski’s transfer is not a done deal. Don’t be surprised if the transfer collapses, as was the case with Jerzy Dudek.
Podolski is an Arsène Wenger type player: versatile, good football IQ and excellent technique.
Without Podolski, Köln would be in Kaiserslautern’s perilous situation.
Right now, seven points separates Köln from 13th placed Freiburg. If the season was to end today, Köln would be stuck in a relegation playoff, which isn’t all doom and gloom.
Let’s say Köln were to be relegated; then Podolski would come to Arsenal at a bargain basement transfer fee.
Please read 11 Crazy Handballs.