Transfer Speculation: 10 Players Whose Stock Soared at Euro 2012
International tournaments have the ability to launch regional standouts into world superstardom.
Examples abound. Who had heard of Franck Ribery before the 2006 World Cup? Would Arsene Wenger have taken a shot on Andrei Arshavin if not for his performance at Euro 2008?
Accordingly, this summer's spectacle in Poland and Ukraine has brought a number of names into the spotlight.
What follows is a list of 10 individuals who have seen their stock soar.
Some were better known than others before things kicked off on June 8—yet undoubtedly each warrants a far higher transfer fee today than just a month ago.
Mario Mandzukic: Croatia
The Croatian version of "Super Mario" scored three times in group play. That kind of output was enough to turn heads across Europe.
Lars Bender: Germany
Jerome Boateng's suspension presented Lars Bender with the opportunity to start at right-back against Denmark in the final game of the group stage.
The Bayer Leverkusen defender answered with an outstanding defensive performance and the goal that put the game away.
Bender had made just eight international appearances before he took the field. There were even doubts that he would make Joachim Low's 23-man roster. His inclusion came at the last minute at the expense of twin brother Sven.
The versatile defender, who can also play midfield, will see his star rise significantly.
Theodor Gebre Selassie: Czech Republic
Last season, Gebre Selassie played for Slovan Liberec—a club I had never heard of before writing this sentence.
After four strong performances for the Czech Republic, the right-back's fortunes are turning dramatically.
Joao Moutinho: Portugal
Moutinho has been world-class in the center of the pitch. Just about all of the movement in the final third goes through the Porto talisman.
The Portuguese midfielder notched two assists in the competition. However, the majority of his impact goes on off the stat sheet.
Alan Dzagoev: Russia
For whatever reason, Russian nationals do not usually transition well to the EPL.
Andrei Arshavin, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Yuri Zhirkov all made big-money moves to the Premier League in the past few years. None have lived up to lofty expectations.
Yet at least Arsenal appear ready to see if history will repeat itself.
That move does not really make sense given the signings of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud. However, I would not be surprised to see his name mentioned elsewhere throughout the transfer window.
Marco Reus: Germany
Dortmund's Marco Reus started in place of Thomas Muller on the right wing against Greece. He rewarded Joachim Low's faith by thumping home an astonishingly confident goal.
The performance had Arsene Wenger raving from the commentary booth. According to the Daily Star, he told French television he was "on the case" to secure his services.
Unfortunately, Jurgen Klopp snatched him up back in December, so a prospective Arsenal move will not be happening any time soon.
The German international appears set to feature heavily for Dortmund in 2012-13. The 23-year-old could be a star for his country for a long time to come.
Mathieu Debuchy: France
The versatile right-back is one of the few standouts for France after an otherwise disappointing campaign.
ESPN reports that Newcastle had a £4 million bid rejected by Lille. It remains to be seen whether or not a follow-up is forthcoming.
"[Debuchy] is torn between staying with us and playing in the Champions League in our new stadium or going elsewhere," says Lille head coach Rudi Garcia.
The same article claims that Lille value Debuchy at £6 million. Do not be surprised if that figure is met before the summer is over.
Petr Jiracek: Czech Republic
Wolfsburg signed Petr Jiracek from Viktoria Plzen back in December.
After scoring two goals for the Czech Republic, including the winner against Poland, they may find it hard to hang on to the winger.
At 26, Jiracek seems to have found his stride late in his career. His physicality and tenacity would work well in the Premier League.
Nicklas Bendtner: Denmark
Nicklas Bendtner's career appeared to be on the decline heading into the tournament.
He never quite lived up to expectations at Arsenal. That led to a year-long loan spell at Sunderland in 2011-12.
Then Bendtner scored twice and added an assist for Denmark in their three "Group of Death" matches.
ESPN reports his agent as saying that the strength of those three performances has "greatly increased" interest in his client.
The first club being linked is Anzhi Makhachkala. However, it is too early to tell with any degree of certainty where he might end up.
Mats Hummels: Germany
Many will argue that Hummels was a big name well before this summer.
However, this is the same player Bayern Munich saw fit to sell for just £3.2 million in 2009. His inclusion in the starting lineup was also somewhat of a controversial move as of early June.
At the rate he is going, Franz Beckenbauer comparisons may start cropping up in the next few days. Do you think Munich regrets selling him yet?
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