Euro 2012: 6 Players Who Increased Their Transfer Value
Euro 2012 has come to a glorious finale—well, except if you're Italian—and, after watching 16 nations, 31 matches and 76 goals, Spain were crowned the worthy winners and champions of Europe again.
The likes of Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba won acclaim for their performances throughout the tournament as they featured in every match, but it wasn't just the Spaniards who shone in Poland and Ukraine.
Poland, Russia, Sweden and Denmark all exited the tournament at the group stages, but they had players on display who were the toast of their nation after some fine performances.
With that in mind, and the opening of the transfer window upon us, here are six players—outside of the two finalists—who increased their transfer value during the tournament.
Alan Dzagoev, Attacking Midfielder, Russia
Christof Koepsel/Getty Images
With three goals scored during the group stages, Alan Dzagoev proved himself to be the little man with a big future as his stylish approach to the game paid immediate dividends for Russia.
Dzagoev, who plays for CSKA Moscow, hit a brace in the opening day of the tournament as Russia blitzed Czech Republic 4-1. But, that was as good as it got for the Eastern Europeans, who crashed out of Euro 2012 after taking just one point from their next two matches.
He scored a third against Poland in the 1-1 draw and showed plenty of good movement, excellent control and a real eye for a pass in all three of his games.
With just six months left on his contract, his transfer value certainly won't be sky high at the moment. CSKA will want to do everything in their power to tie him down to a longer- term deal.
If they do, they'll have a young player on their hands worth upwards of $12 million.
If they don't, another team will be signing a real bargain this coming winter.
Theodor Gebre Selassie, Right-Back, Czech Republic
Clive Mason/Getty Images
Czech Republic reached the quarterfinals, despite that 4-1 drubbing by Russia, after bouncing back to beat Greece 2-1 and Poland 1-0.
Part of the reason for their improvement was the fine form of full-back Theodore Gebre Selassie, a Slovan Liberec defender who had, shortly before the tournament, all but agreed on a move to German side Werder Bremen.
It looks to have proved a shrewd move by the Bundesliga side to get the terms of the move sewn up pre-Euro 2012, as they paid a reported $1.6 million for the attack-minded defender.
After his performances for the Czechs, it will surely have at least quadrupled.
Strong, physically able and always willing to support in the final third, an adventurous full-back like Gebre Selassie is always in demand these days. He will certainly be worth a lot more if Bremen decide they need to cash in on him in a year's time.
Andriy Yarmolenko, Winger, Ukraine
Alex Livesey/Getty Images
Ukraine's tactical system was entirely based, in an attacking sense, on their inverted wingers.
With the left-footed Andriy Yarmolenko playing on the right flank and the right-footed Yevhen Konoplyanka on the left, Ukraine constantly sought to get these two pacey attackers involved centrally in the final third to create shooting or crossing opportunities.
Whilst the overall lack of on the ball talent hindered Ukraine's attempts to progress, Yarmolenko, in particular, was an outstanding individual who certainly looked to make things happen.
Comfortable cutting inside to shoot or going on the outside to allow support to flood the box, Yarmolenko was brave in possession and was one of the first players his teammates looked to when they desperately needed a piece of creativity.
Yarmolenko currently plays for Dinamo Kyiv in his native country, where he usually operates from a more central position behind a lone forward. He will have no shortage of suitors should he make his intentions to move on well-known.
Kyiv will also now expect a far bigger fee after his showings at the Euros.
Nicklas Bendtner, Striker, Denmark
Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images
One player who will almost certainly be on the move this summer is Arsenal and Denmark striker Nicklas Bendtner.
The Gunners' forward spent last season out on loan at Premier League club Sunderland, who opted not to sign him permanently at the end of the campaign.
With Arsenal having strengthened their forward line this summer already with the additions of Lukas Podolski and Olivier Giroud, there will be no going back for Bendtner.
However, his impressive hold-up play and two goals against Portugal will have seen his stock rise during the tournament—despite Denmark not progressing beyond the group stages.
Bendtner worked the channels well, allowed the troika of attacking midfielders behind him to link up in attack and generally provided a good outlet for Denmark in times of sustained pressure.
Arsenal will be pleased to have seen their man perform well on the big stage. It will strengthen their claims to recoup a hefty fee for the forward, who will have no shortage of takers.
Joao Moutinho, Central Midfield, Portugal
Ian Walton/Getty Images
One of the few players at the tournament who could pass the ball as well as the Spanish midfielders, Joao Moutinho was a shining light for Portugal and, should he decide to move on from current club FC Porto, will have done himself no harm in attracting interest from the biggest names in the game.
Unlike some of the others on this list, Moutinho will already have had a large price tag attached to him after years of success in the top flight in his home country.
However, newspaper rumours since the tournament's beginning show that his price tag—while perhaps not ending up as lofty as the $32 million quoted in some outlets—will certainly have inflated after his game-controlling displays.
Even if he does move, he might not end up on penalty taking duty for his new club after missing a vital spot-kick for Portugal in the semifinal shootout against Spain.
Mats Hummels, Central Defender, Germany
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Finally we come to one of the standout names of the entire tournament at Euro 2012 and Germany's centre-back Mats Hummels.
The Borussia Dortmund defender had an outstanding tournament, for the most part. He defended with equal parts vigour and class and showed an astute reading of the game—combined with aggression and technique.
As comfortable making a last-ditch challenge or striding into midfield with the ball at his feet, Hummels was a good option for Germany to suddenly change the pace of the game.
Rated at around a $20 million player at present, Hummels has not indicated any desire to leave Dortmund. Likewise, the club have no particular need to sell.
Based on his form at Euro 2012, his age and the potential level that his talent could reach, it is feasible to suggest that Hummels could be the man to break the world record fee paid for a defender, which currently stands at $29.1 million (Rio Ferdinand, 2002).