Perhaps one of the most famous transfers prompted almost solely by a European Championship has been Karel Poborský to Manchester United in 1996. Part of an exciting Czech Republic team, the former Slavia Prague player was unable to replicate his tournament impact and his stay at Old Trafford was short.
This summer’s Poborský isn’t yet clear, but football is a bigger business these days and scouting reports more weighty and relied upon. That of course doesn’t stop excitement and doesn’t stop rumours, and the stage is there for players to confirm good scouting reports, and push a transfer closer.
One of the lesser known footballers to impress so far has been Belgium’s Thomas Meunier. The 24 year old right back plays for Club Brugge, so clearly has a chance to climb a couple of rungs on the ladder.
Belgium’s HLN have an article on Thursday pondering interest prompted by Euro 2016 and they joke that there could be announcement soon welcoming Meunier to West Ham. There’s no actual interest, bid or move claimed, HLN are pointing out that in the current climate that kind of thing is possible… and why not.
It’s also quipped that Albanians could be heading to Sunderland or Anderlecht, all prompted by a fever around Euro 2016 and performances at the tournament. This is certainly one where reality could follow joviality.
Whereas in Belgium the reports of transfers prompted by Euro 2016 are lighthearted, in Italy it’s becoming a ‘thing’. The Italian media have linked several stars of the tournament with moves elsewhere, including to English clubs.
West Ham fans will be well aware of, largely English, claims that Dmitri Payet could be off to clubs including Real Madrid. Claims that appeared to be prompted by two performances.
It takes some believing that a couple of performances can lead, sometimes in less than 24 hours, to a club making moves to sign a player they weren’t going to prior to the event.
Transfers will be prompted by Euro 2016, but not so quickly. And, as HLN pointed out, it’s more likely to be lesser known players like Meunier, and those from teams such as Albania, who get the biggest career boost.