World Cup 2018: Four players who could be on high-demand after the tournament
The FIFA World Cup is a celebration of culture and football, where players are given the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage. Some players can have their lives changed by their exploits in the tournament, and also have their market value sent through the roof.
Stars who have risen to prominence through the World Cup in the past, include James Rodriguez, Michael Owen and the great Pele.
James Rodriguez's six goals in the 2014 World Cup earned him the golden boot award for the tournament, as well as, a move to Real Madrid. Michael Owen's solo goal against Argentina at World Cup '98 remains one of English football's most iconic goals. Pele's World Cup victory at the age of 17 set him on his way for an extraordinary footballing career.
The transfer rumours surrounding certain players have started to come to the fore due to the ongoing FIFA World Cup in Russia. A couple of these players are still in with a chance of winning the biggest trophy in all of football; something which would propel their careers to an entirely different level.
Here are four players who will be on high-demand due to their strong performances in Russia:
#4 Xherdan Shaqiri
The former Bayern Munich midfielder confirmed his departure from Stoke City after the Potters’ ten-year stay in the Premier League came to end. The winger, who mainly operates from the right-hand side, has been linked with a move to Manchester United as well as Liverpool. The Swiss international will turn 27 later this year; an age where athletes generally perform at their peak, thus making him a tempting prospect for any big club.
He was one of the few Swiss players who carried a serious attacking threat in the World Cup, as his pace and trickery proved too much to handle for the opposition. Shaqiri's stand-out performance came against Serbia, where he ran the defence ragged and created several openings for his teammates through the game.
In Switzerland's final group game, the match looked to be heading for a draw, until Shaqiri popped up with a 90th-minute winner to guarantee his team a place in the last sixteen. There was also a moment of individual brilliance from the Swiss winger, as he burst past three defenders and sent a fearsome shot crashing against the crossbar in the game.
He would certainly be a great addition for Liverpool, as they aim to bolster their squad in pursuit of a major trophy next season. The Reds may decide, however, to make a U-turn on the Nabil Fekir deal and complete the signing of the Lyon forward.
With regards to Manchester United, Shaqiri will provide an extra option on the right wing: the area that has been of serious concern for the Red Devils after Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s departure.