World Cup 2018 Transfer Targets
The 2018 World Cup has been and gone, with France eventually lifting the trophy against Croatia in Moscow. After 64 games, Les Bleus secured a second World Cup, just 2 years after failing to win the Euro 2016 final in their home country. With such a young squad, France look like they could be main contenders for years to come, but they weren’t the only team that had some breakout stars.
After a summer full of action, normal service has been resumed but the transfer window is still underway. With players now heading back home, deals will be easier to complete and we expect a flurry of Premier League transfers in the next 2 weeks. Clubs often snap players up just after a successful tournament, but they don’t always prove to be a good buy. Nevertheless, Bet UK have put together a list of 5 players that might be on the move after the 2018 World Cup.
Host nation Russia went much further than many expected, reaching the quarter finals before being knocked out by eventual finalists Croatia. At the heart of the Russian midfield, 22 year old Aleksandr Golovin was one of the highlights of a surprisingly strong side. Golovin started the tournament as he meant to go on, with a goal and 2 assists in Russia’s opening win against Saudi Arabia. Although he didn’t manage to score for the rest of the tournament, Golovin was involved in everything that was positive about Russia’s play going forward.
Currently plying his trade at CSKA Moscow, it will be a shock to see the Russian remain in his homeland for the 2018/19 season. Aleksandr Golovin has already been linked with Chelsea and Monaco, but is reportedly holding out for a move to Juventus.
Harry Maguire was a standout performer in a young England side that reached the semi final at the 2018 World Cup. His performances in defence were one of the reasons that England made it so far, playing in every game throughout the tournament. Maguire became a cult hero amongst England fans, coming into each game with no fear, despite his lack of international experience. Alongside John Stones and Kyle Walker, Maguire formed a formidable back 3 that nearly took England to World Cup glory. The centre back was a constant threat from set pieces, managing to grab a goal and assist, both coming from corners.
A successful debut campaign at Leicester City followed by an impressive World Cup is bound have Maguire linked with the top clubs in England. Manchester United are the club that is heavily linked, but it will take a hefty fee to convince Leicester to sell.
Mexico might have been knocked out at the round of 16 stage for the 7th tournament in a row, but there can be hope for the future with Hirving Lozano emerging as a star. The PSV star got Mexico off to a perfect start, scoring the winner against Germany in the opening game. His electric pace and fast feet caused problems against every defender who came up against him. Partnered with intelligent movement and an eye for goal, the Mexican can expect to be at the forefront of international football for years to come.
Hirving Lozano only moved to PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2017, but may quickly be on the move again. Reportedly, Lozano has offered his services to Tottenham Hotspur, hoping to link up with Harry Kane and Christian Eriksen to help further his game. If his desired move falls through however Manchester United will be prepared to swoop in for his signature. Red Devils fans will be hoping he would be more of a success than Memphis Depay was at Old Trafford. The dutchman also signed from PSV following an impressive showing at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The only World Cup winner to appear on this list, Benjamin Pavard improved with every minute he played at the 2018 World Cup. Starting in all but one of France’s matches, Pavard was a huge success in the French back 4. Even after a less than perfect start against Australia in France’s opening match, Didier Deschamps continued to choose Pavard at right back. Stronger performances followed, including a goal of the tournament contender against Argentina. France had arguably the hardest route to the final, facing Argentina, Uruguay and Belgium before Croatia in the World Cup final. But Pavard didn’t look out of place against any of his opponents, despite not playing a minute of competitive international football before the World Cup.
Benjamin Pavard is still a Stuttgart player, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see him move on this summer. He played as right back throughout the World Cup, but his preferred position is centre back. His versatility automatically increases his value in the modern transfer market. Tottenham are the favourite to sign Pavard at the moment, but young, promising defenders are hard to come by, so he could be linked to a number of teams before the window is over.
Relatively unknown before the World Cup began, Ante Rebic is now one of the hottest properties in Europe after his starring role in Croatia’s journey to the final. Rebic can play anywhere across the front 3, but was often deployed as a left winger throughout the tournament. His only goal of the tournament came after a Willy Caballero howler gave Rebic the chance to volley the ball back over the keeper. That was far from his only contribution though. His constant running and tracking back made sure that his opposition didn’t have a moment’s rest.
Rebic has only just signed for Eintracht Frankfurt following a 2 year loan, but there is potential for the german side to make a lot of money by selling him. Having only joined for £2m, he is now being linked with a £45 million move, which might be too much to turn down. Tottenham, Manchester United and Everton appear to be the frontrunners for the Croatian, with the Premier League now a likely destination.