The World Cup promises to be a spectacle to behold but for a number of top players, it presents an opportunity to put themselves in the shop window.
1) Thomas Vermaelen
The 26-year-old Arsenal captain was ousted from his position in the Gunners’ first-team line-up back in March 2013 and has since found it more than a struggle to get back into the team behind Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, making just seven appearances for 90 minutes in the Premier League this term.
He will be at the World Cup with Belgium and will likely be hoping he can show a good account of his abilities in competition for places with Vincent Kompany who has taken the skipper’s armband from him as well as Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld. With his contract at Arsenal entering its final year in June, he will almost certainly consider a move.
2) Karim Benzema
Similarly, Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been under pressure in receipt of criticism in the Spanish capital in the last 12 months and with his contract entering its final year in June, he will likely be hoping he can draw some interest from clubs while on international duty with France this summer.
3) Julian Draxler
Germany starlet Draxler was the subject of interest from Arsenal in January, but the North London outfit failed to offer quite the sum needed to temp Schalke to sell the 20-year-old attacker. However, he has a release clause of £38million in his contract with the Bundesliga side and he will likely be inclined to show exactly why a top club should be prepared to invest enough money to trigger his sale this summer.
4) Andre Ayew
24-year-old Marseille attacker Andre Ayew will be an integral member of Ghana’s team this summer and with his contract at the Ligue 1 outfit also entering its final 12 months, he will be hoping to steal the show in order that he might make a move abroad, perhaps to the Premier League where he has been linked with numerous clubs in recent transfer windows.
5) Georginio Wijnaldum
With Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal newly appointed as the next Manchester United manager, all eyes will be firmly fixed on the orange shirts this summer and this 23-year-old winger will be hopeful of getting a run out behind a number of top stars such as Arjen Robben Dirk Kuyt, and fellow youngster Jordy Clasie in order to impress, above all else, van Gaal who could just make a move to the most popular and well-known football club in the world a reality.