Robin Van Persie and 7 Others Whose Transfer Stock Dropped During Euro 2012
Major tournaments have a way of drastically affecting a player's transfer value.
Most football fans are familiar with the stories of players who come into big tournaments like Euro 2012 with little hype and then perform well for a few matches, resulting in major money moves to big European clubs. Then, after a season of struggling on the bench or in front of goal, they are passed on to another club for half their initial transfer cost.
Many journalists have already begun to discuss players like Mario Balotelli, Marco Reus and Vaclav Pilar who have showed their worth at Euro 2012 and might have had many clubs considering a splashing the cash.
In this slideshow, we will look at Robin van Persie and seven other footballers who have failed to spark their teams in the tournament and will have seriously affected their transfer value if they are to move onto new clubs this summer.
Robin Van Persie (Netherlands)
Joern Pollex/Getty Images
Despite being an important part of the Arsenal setup since arriving from Feyenoord in 2004, the Dutch striker did not begin to truly shine until the departures of Thierry Henry and Emmanuel Adebayor left him in the spotlight as the Londoners' only prominent striker.
In the 2011-12, Van Persie took home the Premier League Golden Boot award and scored 37 goals in all competitions as Arsenal finished third in the Premier League.
In fact, his form had been so prolific over the domestic season, many were tipping the Dutchman to shine in Euros and lead the Netherlands to their first title since 1988. A strong performance would have made it even more difficult for Arsene Wenger to hold on to his prized asset and captain as he was linked with big spenders like Barcelona and Manchester City.
Nevertheless, three fairly anemic performances in front of goal partly as a result of incredibly poor play from his midfielders found van Persie on an early flight back home, significantly harming his transfer stock in the process.
While he claims to be happy at Arsenal and is tied to the club for at least another season, the massive wages available at wealthier clubs and Arsenal's lack of silverware since their 2005 FA Cup victory may draw him.
It is rumored that Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City are willing to splash the cash for the Dutchman who was purchased for under £3 million in 2004.
Although he was valued at £25 million before the tournament, he could be available for around £20 million if Wenger gives in and lets go of his star forward.
James Milner (England)
Martin Rose/Getty Images
Oh, James Milner.
Perhaps more than any other English player in the squad, Milner has come to be known as the epitome of the inexplicable selection; the phantom player who only shows up to kick a ball helplessly out of play or place a tragically mis-timed tackle. In fact, Milner is such a conondrum that one could hardly discern his actual playing position, seeing that he is rarely seen on the pitch.
Recently, Barney Ronay of the Guardian wrote a fascinating piece about the former Aston Villa midfielder who has since degenerated into a "marching gnome," running 1.4k more than any other player on the pitch in the match against France, but completing only nine accurate passes in the final group match against the Ukraine.
However, while seemingly having lost much of his creativity and danger since moving from Aston Villa to Manchester City for above £30 million (when taking into account Stephen Ireland also going the other way to Villa), Milner has still managed over 500 professional matches at only 26 years old. And, while he has fallen slightly down the pecking order at Man City, he should still for some reason command a large bid from potential suitors.
Certainly, this was not the best Euro possible for Milner. His typically English style makes his skill look almost non-existent when comparing him to other talented wide-players in the tournament like Samir Nasri and Nani. But, perhaps a bid of £15 million could take him away from a Man City side that is becoming more flairy and less in need of a player like the Englishman.
Andrei Arshavin (Russia)
Alex Grimm/Getty Images
The Russian playmaker was one of the most coveted transfer targets following Euro 2008. Eventually, he landed in London with Arsenal and initially seemed like he would take the Premier League by storm following a series of remarkable goal-scoring performances.
However, Arshavin started to lose his favor with the fans in the 2011-12 season and criticized for his lethargy and clumsiness on the field was loaned back to previous club Zenit St. Petersburg where he helped them win the Russian Premier League and secured his place on the plane to Poland for Euro 2012.
For the Russians, Arshavin showed the same kind of passing precision that at first endeared him to Arsenal supporters. However, wastefulness in front of goal and the overall apathetic team ethos led them to bow out in the first round after looking like one of the most exciting teams of the tournament.
While Arsene Wenger has not specified that he wants to sell Arshavin, it will be very difficult for him to recover the £16.5 million he is believed to have splashed on the player in 2009.
Reports claim that Arsenal want around £8 million from Zenit for the forward/winger, but after a disappointing Euro and following the purchase of Olivier Giroud from Montepellier, the Londoners may have to make due with significantly less if they want to off-load the 31-year-old.
Karim Benzema (France)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
The Frenchman was one of the most coveted young strikers in Europe when he signed for Real Madrid from Lyon for £28.3 million in 2009.
A very poor first campaign in which he only managed eight league goals was followed by two double-digit goal-scoring seasons that have brought him back into the limelight. However, with Jose Mourinho typically employing a defensive strategy and fierce competition from the under-rated, but prolific Gonzalo Higuain could easily see Benzema moving to somewhere that he might be guaranteed a starting place.
Manchester United was heavily linked with Benzema for two seasons before and after he moved to Real Madrid and Manchester City are rumored to be interested in his signature.
Both clubs would have the money to buy the Frenchman and following a Euro 2012 campaign in which he failed to score and only managed two assists in the match against the Ukraine, he may be available for less than what Real Madrid paid if he does decide to leave.
Benzema has made clear he would like to stay in Spain next season, but a bid of £25 million may be enough to bring the 24-year-old to English shores for the 2012-13 season.
Andriy Voronin (Ukraine)
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
There once was a time when the Ukranian was one of the most coveted forwards in European football.
After three seasons of double-digit goal-scoring for Bayer Leverkuson, Voronin was considered a steal by Liverpool when he signed on a free transfer.
The powerful striker, who is often deployed as a midfielder for his country, struggled at first to live up to expectations at Anfield and was loaned to Bundesliga side Hertha BSC for the 2009-10 season, where he helped them to a top four finish and place in Europe.
Back at Liverpool for the following campaign, Voronin turned in two goals in a mere eight appearances and was sold to Dynamo Moscow for roughly £4 million during the winter transfer window.
There, Voronin has managed 15 goals in 63 appearances over two seasons and is ready to leave at 32 years old and following a very poor European Championship where he was dropped for the final group match after stagnant performances both as a forward and midfielder against Sweden and France.
Dynamo Moscow claim they have received no bids for the Ukranian, and at a ripe old age, Voronin's best hope may be to move across the pond to the MLS or return to his home country as Europe's elite are no longer interested in his services
Kevin Doyle (Ireland)
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
The Irishman was considered a budding young prospect when he was purchased by Wolverhampton Wanderers for £6.5 million in 2009.
However, following a meagre return of 18 goals in 93 Premier League matches, it certainly looks like for Wolves to rid themselves of the once promising forward.
Despite interest from other top-flight sides in 2011-12, former manger Mick McCarthy was very keen on keeping Doyle at the club in hopes that he would help them avoid eventual relegation.
Now, in order to save on wages in the Championship, Wolves will need to get rid of top earners like the Irishman.
With Euro 2012 this summer, the club was expecting that a good performance in the group stage might recuperate some of their originally outlay on the player. However, following two poor starts and zero goals with a disappointing Irish team, it looks unlikely that Doyle would attract more than a £1 million to £2 million bid.
Out of all the Irish in the Wolves contingent to feature in the tournament, the 28-year-old forward will probably fare worst after being slightly outshone by the similarly unimpressive Stephen Ward and muscled out of the top forward position by battling ram Jonathan Walters of Stoke City.
Wesley Sneijder (Netherlands)
Christopher Lee/Getty Images
The Dutch have had an absolutely miserable Euro 2012. Sneijder complained in an early interview that egos seem to have taken over the side and contributed to a lack of cohesion between the otherwise very talented group of players. Eventually, the disunity coupled with the dodgy selection of coach Bert van Marwijk and the Dutch faced the unimaginable: three games, three losses at a major tournament many predicted them to win.
Over the past two seasons, the once coveted Internazionale trequarista has become a shadow of his former self due to shifting tactics that have often left him isolated and injuries that have hampered his creative spark.
Last season, there were rumors that he was on his way to Manchester United, but he eventually pledged his loyalty to the club that he helped to the 2010-11 Champions League title and to which he has a contract until 2015. However, with the purchase of Freddy Guarin and Rodrigo Palacio so far this summer and the emergence of the young and exciting Ricardo Alvarez in midfield, Sneijder may be ready to move on.
Inter paid £12.1 millions for the 28-year-old midfielder in 2009 and despite a very underwhelming European Championship, the Dutchman could still command a transfer fee of £15 million if he is to grace Premier League shores for the new season.
Robert Lewandowski (Poland)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images
It would not be an exaggeration to say that the majority of Polish hopes for advancing onto the knockout stages of Euro 2012 rested on the shoulders of the Borussia Dortmund hitman.
After scoring a thrilling header to pull Poland ahead against Greece in the opening game, many expected Lewandowski to build on the 30 goals he scored in all competitions for his club in 2011-12 and cut apart Eastern European rivals Czech Republic and Russia.
However, the Polish attack faltered and the side crashed out early.
Prior to the tournament, there was much talk of Lewandowski leaving Dortmund for Manchester United. His current club will probably want at least 20 million pounds for the explosive 23-year-old who they purchased from Lech Poznan for about £3.6 million in 2010.
Nevertheless, following a poor tournament and only two seasons at Dortmund, elite clubs may be able to chisel down the asking price to £12 million to £15 million or be forced to wait until next summer and hope his stock does not rise again.