Five future Premier League stars from Japan Vs Colombia

This World Cup clash will give Arsenal and Manchester United the chance to see several transfer targets in action ahead of any Premier League bid.

It is crunch time for Japan in Group C with only a victory over Colombia enough to see the Blue Samurai progress to the knockout stages.

But regardless of whether Japan can overcome Los Cafeteros, the match should prove to be a showcase for a number of players who could soon be heading to the Premier League.

Here are five of the best.

Jackson Martinez – Porto

The 27-year-old forward may currently be playing a bit-part role for Colombia in these finals with Teo Gutierrez preferred up front, but with the South American side qualifying for the knockout stages, don’t be surprised to see him make an impact later in the tournament.

Hot property in Europe, Martinez has already been linked with a move to Arsenal, while Chelsea and Manchester United are both thought to be keeping close tabs on the striker. Score a goal against the Blue Samurai and those rumours could become reality.

Hiroshi Kiyotake – Nuremberg

Among Japan’s star attacking players at these finals, Kiyotake may not grab the headlines in the same way Keisuke Honda and Shinji Kagawa do, but he’s a player with all the necessary attributes to turn a game in Japan’s favour.

That hasn’t gone unnoticed on English shores either, with Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert previously linked with an audacious £10 million swoop for the Bundesliga-based star, who could be open to the idea of a transfer following Nuremberg’s relegation.

Santiago Arias – PSV Eindhoven

Identified by previous Manchester United manager David Moyes as the ideal alternative to primary target Seamus Coleman, the 22-year-old full-back is valued at around £8 million by his Dutch employers, though that price tag could increase off the back of this World Cup.

A talented player with pace and skill to burn, Arias is unlikely to remain in Holland next year and with new United manager Louis van Gaal looking to signal the start of a new era at Old Trafford, he could do worse than look to one of his predecessors targets.

Yuto Nagatomo – Inter Milan

Arguably Inter Milan’s most reliable player since the retirement of Javier Zanetti, Nagatomo ranks as one of the most competent all-round players in the Japan squad and someone who can not only defend but also create in the role of full-back.

Five goals last term, alongside countless assists, was impressive enough and with Inter undergoing a period of significant change following a takeover, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Nagatomo depart to bigger and better things, having previously been linked to Manchester United.

Victor Ibarbo – Cagliari

Among the best performers for Colombia during the opening two games, Ibarbo’s pace and attacking prowess has been a major asset to Los Cafeteros’ attack and with the likes of James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado linked to the Premier League, Ibarbo could well follow.

Newcastle United are already on the case of the 24-year-old who can play out wide or as a striker and could be the ideal addition to a Magpies squad lacking both in cover and quality as we head towards a new Premier League campaign.



FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch