Chelsea Target Andre Schurrle & Five European Wonderkids in Waiting...
Andre Schurrle – Germany – 21 – Bayer Leverkusen – Forward
Value - £10m-£15m
Suitors – Chelsea, Tottenham
One of many on the conveyor belt of remarkably talented German wunderkinds, Schurrle is ready to follow the paths of Lukas Podolski and Marko Marin by joining the Premier League from the Bundesliga this summer. Most happy tearing at defenders from the left flank and unleashing shots with his right foot, he can also play through the middle, and already has five goals in 12 games for Germany. His price tag is affordable for Spurs, who could see him as a replacement for Gareth Bale should the Welshman leave, but Chelsea have also shown interest.
Mario Mandzukic – Croatia – Wolfsburg – 25 – Striker
Value - £8m-£10m
Suitors – Everton, Tottenham, Aston Villa, QPR
Fourteen Bundesliga goals and another three in Euro 2012 qualifying make Mandzukic a wanted striker, especially after Wolfsburg failed to secure European football next season. At over six feet tall he’s excellent in the air and capable of playing as a target man, but that doesn’t detract from his mobility. After Mandzukic's impressive performances at the Euros alongside Nikica Jelavic, he seems tailor made to fit into Everton's side for next season.Villa and QPR would find him handy too.
Rasmus Elm – Sweden – 24 – AZ Alkmaar – Centre Midfield
Value - £6m-£10m
Suitors – Liverpool, Manchester United, Fulham, Newcastle
“The biggest talent Sweden has produced since Zlatan Imbrahimovic” was how former national team manager Lars Lagerback described Rasmus Elm when he moved to AZ in 2009. Since then, 30 goals from midfield in three seasons, many of them spectacular long rangers and free-kicks, has backed up the claim and alerted a host of Europe’s top clubs. Chief among them has been Liverpool, who are desperate for creativity and presence in the centre of the park, but he could also fit Fulham’s bill if Clint Dempsey jumps ship.
Ola John – Netherlands – Twente – 19 – Left Wing
Value - £10m-£12m
Suitors – Sunderland, Fulham, QPR
A lightning quick winger, John has yet to make an appearance for the Netherlands but was included in the squad for the first time for their friendly with England in February. If, as expected, he makes Bert van Marwijk’s 23 this summer, he’ll provide variety as an impact sub by cutting in from the left flank in classic Dutch style. Has the speed for the Premier League but will want to make more of an impact in England that older brother and former Fulham striker Collins. Sunderland have been sniffing around, but so have Benfica.
Alan Dzagoev – Russia – CSKA – 21 – Attacking Midfield
Value - £18m-£20m
Suitors – Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea
Ever since scoring an emphatic opening goal for CSKA at Old Trafford in a 3-3 draw in 2009, Alan Dzagoev has been on Manchester United’s radar. Now, with a creative midfielder their summer priority, a bid could be imminent. Being labelled ‘the new Arshavin’ might not be much of a compliment over here, but it’s an honour for the playmaker, whose close control and tight one-twos are reminiscent of the Arsenal man at his best. United and Liverpool need him most, but a good tournament could see Roman Abramovich tabling an offer for his fellow countryman.
Ettiene Capoeu – France – 23 – Toulouse – Defensive Midfield
Value - £10m
Suitors – Arsenal, Liverpool
He’s an outsider to make Laurent Blanc’s squad, but the current captain of France under 21s would provide physicality and class to the spine of any Premier League side. Having broken into the Toulouse team at just 18 he was shortlisted for the Ligue 1 Young Player of the Year Award in his first full season, despite a penchant for picking up yellow cards. (in 2009 he received the most in the league) His raking passes from deep would be tailored for Andy Carroll, and his quick feet and poise would make him an excellent reserve for Alex Song.
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