Following the conclusion of round one of Euro fixtures, I wrote this article about players whose values could go up after good performances. Just a few days later, the second round of fixtures have been completed. Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands already have now clinched spots in the Round of 16. Some teams, however, will not have spots in the next round despite impressive performances, with North Macedonia already eliminated.
However, many players from eliminated nations still impressed and could move to bigger teams and leagues, as well as players from smaller nations that overachieved and clinched spots in the next round. So, who could or should earn transfers based off of round two of Euro fixtures?
Stole Dimitrievski, Goalkeeper, North Macedonia
North Macedonia have been eliminated, but that is not the fault of goalkeeper Stole Dimitrievski. Dimitrievski, whose club Rayo Vallecano earned promotion to La Liga, produced seven saves against Ukraine. This included a penalty kick save to keep North Macedonia in the game at 2-1, but the Macedonians could not find the equalizer.
Dimitrievski started almost every match for Vallecano this past season, leading the Madrid-based club to a sixth placed finish. Vallecano then advanced through the playoffs to face Girona in the promotion playoff, where they won. Even though Vallecano earned promotion, Dimitrievski could be on the move as Vallecano have a wealth of goalkeepers, with Luca Zidane impressing.
With four saves against Austria and seven against Ukraine, Dimitrievski has arguably proved himself to be one of the top goalkeepers at the tournament so far. Without a defense containing top defenders like Raphael Varane or Matthijs de Ligt, Dimitrievski has been able to hold opponents to just five goals in two games.
Denzel Dumfries, Wingback, Netherlands
Denzel Dumfries almost made the round one list thanks to his winner against Ukraine, but following his performance against Austria, there was no doubt that he had to be on this list.
The PSV defender, twice capped for Aruba before switching nationalities, scored again to take his tally to two goals in two games. He also earned the penalty that Memphis Depay scored, sprinting to the edge of the box before David Alaba stomped on Dumfries’ foot.
Dumfries had a good season in the Eredivisie with PSV, and now his performances at the Euros have him strongly linked with some of Europe’s top teams. Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, and Everton are among those rumored to be interested.
Attila Fiola, Wingback, Hungary
Whilst all of Hungary’s team played well against France, Attila Fiola played a huge role on both sides of the pitch as Hungary shockingly grabbed a point against the defending World Cup champions.
Fiola, who plays in Hungary with Fehervar, has just one goal in over 100 games since signing for the three-time league champions. This didn’t stop him from putting the ball past Hugo Lloris at the end of the first half, which saw Hungary take the lead. However, a goal was long in the making for France, who found an equalizer.
Thanks to some good defending (Fiola himself had three tackles), Hungary were able to hold on for a draw, keeping hopes of qualifying for the Round of 16 alive.
Goalkeepers: Danny Ward was key in keeping a clean sheet against Turkey, and is crucial for Wales’ defense.
Defenders: A teammate of Fiola, Endre Botka had three tackles and four clearances, allowing Hungary to tie France. Tomas Kalas once again gets an honorable mention, this time for his performance against Croatia with four clearances and five balls recovered. For Russia, Georgiy Dzhikiya had two tackles and six balls recovered, helping shut out the Finnish. Russia’s rivals Ukraine also were victorious thanks to strong defense, mainly thanks to Mykola Matvienko, who recorded three tackles and four clearances against North Macedonia.
Midfielders: Poland stayed in contention for the Round of 16 after tying Spain thanks to a Robert Lewandowski goal that wouldn’t have been possible without an excellent cross and assist from Kamil Jozwiak, who had a good all-round game.
Forwards: Ukraine’s attacking duo was at it again. In match day one, Roman Yaremchuk scored once and grabbed an assist and Andriy Yarmolenko scored once. Against North Macedonia, they switched as Yarmolenko scored once and assisted once and Yaremchuk scored once. Meanwhile, Patrik Schick continues to score, netting against Croatia to make him the joint-highest goalscorer.
Many leagues and teams are still recovering from the financial effects of the pandemic. Even traditionally rich teams are struggling for funds, making bargain hunting incredibly important this summer.
Granted, it is very early in the transfer window, but there have only been six signings that cost $20 million or more. Last season, there were 57 of these signings. The season before, which also was the season before the pandemic, there were 108. And whilst more money will be spent after the Euros, it will still be nowhere near the amount being spent before the pandemic.
All of this is why it is important for players to do well at the Euros. Good performances at this tournament could earn players transfers to massive clubs that they could only dream of playing for before.
Image Courtesy of JCO83, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.
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