Expert analysis of the events in Poland and Ukraine
With the group stages of Euro 2012 done and dusted, Gerard Brand names five players we think have made a big impression at the tournament so far...
Theodor Gebre Selassie – Czech Republic and FC Slovan LiberecThe energetic right-back's performances in the group stages will come as no surprise to his club side, who he helped win Czech title last year. He will continue to be a key weapon for the Czechs thanks to his crossing ability, though he won't overlook his defensive duties when required - the complete antithesis to fellow right-back Alan Hutton. Gebre Selassie’s athleticism in both attack and defence will undoubtedly alert larger clubs in Europe, with Werder Bremen reportedly interested.
Michael Krohn-Dehli – Denmark and Brøndby IFAfter his clever finish upset the hotly tipped Dutch in their Group B opener, the Danish winger’s stock has risen steeply throughout the first three games. With creativity and endurance in abundance, the 29-year-old’s club side Brøndby may struggle to keep hold of him, particularly moving into the latter stages of his career. Providing a useful link between midfield and attack, Krohn-Dehli bowed out of the tournament with two goals and an assist, more than Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben could manage combined, despite the Dutch pair having on average 98% of their team’s possession.
Alan Dzagoev – Russia and CSKA MoscowAlthough his name was already on the lips of many of Europe's biggest clubs, Dzagoev’s three goals in Group A will have further ramped-up interest from across the continent, with the midfielder already stating that he would like to ply his trade in another European league. Despite being unable to progress in the tournament, blocked by the Greeks' frankly ridiculous good fortune, the CSKA man showed quality as both an attacker and a playmaker, often doubling up with Aleksandr Kerzhakov in the last line of attack. At just 22-years-old, the Russian’s price will undoubtedly be sky high.
Václav Pilař – Czech Republic and WolfsburgAlready set for Germany next month, after Wolfsburg lined-up a summer move back in January, the speedy, direct winger performed superbly in the group stage, helping his side scrape through to the quarter-finals. The third entry from Group A, dubbed the 'The Group of Dearth', 23-year-old Pilař bagged two goals in two games, whilst constantly providing a threat down the left wing. Costing Wolfsburg a measly €1 million from Viktoria Plzeň, he has been dubbed the ‘Czech Messi’ in his homeland, which as we know means absolutely nothing.
Mathieu Debuchy – France and LilleWith Newcastle’s scouts on first name terms with the Air France check-in staff at their local airport, it came as no surprise to hear that Debuchy’s club side Lille have already received and rejected a £4m bid from St. James Park in the last few days. Another right-back who has showed strength going forward during the first three matches, the 26-year-old’s stamina will be tested against reigning champions Spain in the quarter-finals. After replacing injured Bacary Sagna, his accuracy in delivery and resilience in defence has been outstanding in a French team that holds back-line with more weaknesses than strengths. Chelsea are also thought to be interested in Debuchy, who played alongside recent signing Eden Hazard for Lille last season.
Latest European Football News
Monaco sign Moutinho and Rodriguez
Zenit to sign Tymoshchuk but snub Arshavin
Gibraltar admitted as UEFA member
Utrecht beat Twente to close in on Europa
Saint-Etienne cling to Champions League hope
75% of all TV is Bale
On the road to ruin
FourFourTwo is brought to you by Haymarket Consumer Media & FourFourTwo is part of Haymarket Sport
| International Licensing | © Haymarket Media Group 2010