Manchester United: 5 Players the Red Devils Should Sign from Euro 2012
When a major tournament rolls around, players who would not usually get the chance to shine in the spotlight are put on show for the whole world to see.
It's a brilliant way of scouting out young new talent for the top clubs in Europe, and I expect Euro 2012 to be no exception to this.
Already, the likes of 21-year-old Alan Dzagoev of CSKA Moscow and Mario Mandzukic of Wolfsburg have stepped out from relative obscurity and made a real name for themselves on the world stage.
Perhaps the most successful breakout stars from recent tournaments are German duo Mesut Ozil and Thomas Muller.
Both men came to prominence at the 2010 World Cup, and have since have enjoyed vast success with club sides Real Madrid and Bayern Munich respectively.
This slideshow is not based around players who have necessarily had a great start to the tournament.
Rather, it is based on five players that United would do very well to sign in the near future.
If they happen to have a particularly impressive European Championship, Fergie might take real note.
Here are five guys that would be a fantastic fit at United.
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An obvious one to start with is Poland international Robert Lewandowski.
Lewandowski was the top scorer last season in the Bundesliga, eventually managing to bag an impressive total of 30 in the campaign.
A vast amount of those goals were created by a certain Shinji Kagawa.
When the Red Devils brought the Japanese international to Old Trafford a couple of weeks ago, it always seemed a strong possibility that they would follow it up with the acquisition of his Dortmund teammate Lewandowski.
Having the top pairing in the ever-improving German league up front for United is a mouth-watering prospect.
Factor in the likes of Rooney, with Young and Valencia down both the wings, and suddenly United have one of the best offences in Europe.
A good tournament from the Pole, who has already drawn the attention of some of Europe's top sides, might actually tempt him away from United to the likes of Milan or Madrid.
Still, for now, Lewandowski seems like a very hot prospect.
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Claudio Marchisio, much like the majority of the Italian midfield and defence, had a stormer of a game against current World and European champions Spain on Sunday.
Currently playing his football with Serie A title holders Juventus, Marchisio is just what United need in that central holding midfield spot.
He is a ball winner, as well as an expert passer and tackler.
It's surprising that Sir Alex has never really made a real move for him, considering that he would be a perfect fit for United right now.
Most fans are clamouring for the signing of Newcastle's Cheik Tiote at the moment.
Marchisio plays an extremely similar role to the Ivorian, but has the experience of playing in both the Champions League and top international tournaments.
United supporters should not be disappointed if Fergie does eventually pluck for Tiote above Marchisio, as both are quality players that would do brilliantly for the Red Devils.
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Modric was fantastic for Croatia yesterday against an admittedly poor Republic of Ireland defence.
Nevertheless, he has put on that kind of display for several seasons with Tottenham Hotspur in the Barclays Premier League.
His control on the ball and ability to turn on a pin-point are assets that any footballer would kill to have.
Unsurprisingly, this has drawn a lot of attention.
Last summer, it seemed almost inevitable that Chelsea would eventually end up signing Modric for around £30 million. It didn't happen.
This year, Luka has been linked with United, who will apparently have to fork out something in the region of £36 million to bring him to Old Trafford.
As amazing as Modric is, there's just something about that deal that pangs of the Berbatov move.
Even so, if he keeps going the way he has so far this summer, we could see a potential player of the tournament if Croatia manage to get out of their group.
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As much as United fans would like to deny it, Rio Ferdinand is starting to slowly reach the end of his legendary career.
Hummels would be a perfect replacement for the United and former England talisman at centre-back.
Mats heavily impressed in Germany's 1-0 victory over the Portuguese on Saturday night, making a string of crucial interceptions of tackles to ensure Die Mannschaft kept a clean sheet.
And guess who he currently plays club football for?
That's right, Borussia Dortmund.
Although there would be no real link on the pitch between Hummels and Kagawa (and potential signing Lewandowski), the unity between them in the dressing room would help all of them settle in quickly at the club.
It would also be fairly impressive for United to say that they now have the star striker, midfielder and defender of the club that has dominated the Bundesliga for the past two seasons.
A huge test for Mats will come against the Dutch on Wednesday night.
If he can impress again, the heads of the world's elite clubs will start to turn once more.
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Rakitic was one of the standout players in Croatia's victory over the Irish.
With the ability to both hold up the ball and find the perfect pass, as well as a strong sense of defensive duty, Ivan would fit perfectly into the centre of midfield next to Kagawa.
On top of all this, as he showed on several occasions yesterday, Rakitic has one hell of a mean strike when he connects cleanly with the football.
Despite being perhaps the least established player I've mentioned, the Croat has been playing football at the senior level since the tender age of 17.
Now aged 24, Rakitic has already plied his trade with the likes of Basel, Schalke and Sevilla—his current club—as well as making 42 appearances for the national side.
However, I fear this player might be one to go under the radar of most of Europe's big boys if he does not grab the limelight against the Italians or the Spanish.
Here's hoping that he does.