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World Cup Update: Players in focus

The World Cup can be a great platform for players who are looking to switch clubs, and with many of the group matches having already been completed, I have chosen a few standouts who may be targeted by bigger clubs. Some players were previously linked to moves, while others might see their clubs financial resolute tested. Look out for these players to be heavily talked about after the tournament.

Diego Forlan (Uruguay)
Position: Striker
Current Club: Athletico Madrid (Spain)

Diego’s highlight of the World Cup so far was his outstanding performance and two goals against South Africa. Coming off a respectable season at Athletico Madrid, Diego has been linked to a host of English Premier League clubs including Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. Rumored to be valued at £20 million, Forlan’s value will surely increase if he keeps this form up.

Shane Smeltz (New Zealand)
Position: Striker
Current Club: Gold Coast United (Australia)

Shane scored that famous goal that put his country in front against Italy, in which NZ managed to hold onto the draw. Being the surprise packets of the tournament has been in no part due to the strong work ethic from this front man. Shane tore apart the A League in his inaugural season for the Gold Coast and had been linked to a move to Asia or Europe throughout the season. After this performance on the world stage, many more clubs will sit up and take notice.

Luís Fabiano (Brazil)
Position: Striker
Current Club: Sevilla FC (Spain)

Luís Fabiano has always been a reliable forward for his club, with a strike rate around 1 goal for every 3 games. However, it’s on the international stage where he really lights up. Luís scored twice in Brazil’s 3-1 win over Ivory Coast. This has sent many of the larger European clubs such as AC Milan and Tottenham circling for his signature. Despite only having a year left on his contract, it is believed he could attract somewhere in the range of £20 million.

Siphiwe Tshabalala (South Africa)
Position: Midfielder
Current Club: Kaizer Chiefs

Siphiwe was the fortunate player to score the opening goal of the World Cup, and what an amazing goal it was. Currently plying his trade in the local league, Siphiwe was previously linked to clubs in Turkey and France. However after this performance, he’ll sure have many other clubs knocking on his Agent’s door.

Landon Donovan (USA)
Position: Striker
Current Club: LA Galaxy

In my opinion, Landon Donovan has always been a player that hasn’t reached the level he should. After an unsuccessful stint in Germany where he received limited playing time, Landon returned home and set the MLS alight with his goal scoring abilities. This led to a loan to English Premier League side Everton in which he proved he could match it at this level. Despite rumored interest from high profile overseas clubs, Landon signed a four year extension with the LA Galaxy. After fine performances this World Cup, he might just reconsider his options.

Stay tuned for another update during the tournament.

6 replies on “World Cup Update: Players in focus”


While your reasoning is very good as to why clubs should keep an eye on these players, there are other aspects that should be considered. Age is the biggest one in my opinion. Diego Forlan is 31 years old and in football (soccer in the US obviously) terms that is not a young age. He may have only about 2 or 3 good years left in him to play at a high level but I don’t see the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona, or Inter Milan making any offers for him anytime soon. Shane Smeltz in 28 which is on the verge of being considered “old.” In addition, he hasn’t proven himself at club level football outside of Australia. Having said that, he would be a risk for clubs even the Everton’s or Lazio’s of the world. Same goes for Tshabalala. He has only played in Africa and while he is having a fairly decent World Cup, he too would be a risk for clubs. Landon Donovan is a hit and miss type deal. As you said yourself – he didn’t have a successful stint in the Bundesliga but did good in the Premier League. He could potentially be a good signing for a club in need of a quick and physical striker but keep in mind – he is 28. And I do believe his value went up because of that last gasp winner :).

Having said all this, I do believe some younger players that we are seeing at this World Cup should be considered as potential targets: Germany’s Mesut Ozil. He is 21, quite quick I might add, and he can cause some problems for the defenders. He is currently playing in Germany for Werder Bremen where he is making a name for himself. Another player worth noting is Marek Hamsik of Slovakia. Only 22 years old and already a captain for his nation, Hamsik is quite the player. He plays in Italy for Napoli and has attracted interest from Chelsea FC, Real Madrid, and AC Milan to name a few in the recent months. Lastly, the Dutch have a young gun of their own in Eljero Elia. He’s 23, plays in Germany for Hamburg and has been pretty good in the first 2 games for Holland. In my opinion, these 3 are going to be in the news after the World Cup if they keep playing the way they are.

Good post Darren and I didn’t mean to write a whole story on this. Please excuse my passion (read: addiction) for football =). Hope to see another one soon. Take care.


Thanks for your response Jake. The aim of my post was to highlight players who had generally been linked to clubs prior to the World Cup and that now their value will increase due to their performances. Being located in Australia I am fortunate to see the amount of press about Shane Smeltz and there is no question he will be playing at a bigger club than Gold Coast next season, only now being on the world stage, he could potentially be headed outside of the region. Nevertheless we’ll see an interesting transfer period once the Cup is over.

Smeltz will see a lot of press coverage but I’m certain it will mainly be in the Oceania region of the world. I don’t see him moving to any European club soon mainly because of his age but also because he really didn’t prove himself in Europe. He has played in England for AFC Wimbledon, Mansfield Town, and Halifax Town but those are all in the lowest football leagues. However, it is nice to see that he’s getting a lot of press coverage.

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