A host of Premier League clubs including Tottenham Hotspur will be keeping a close eye on the upcoming 2018 World Cup finals in Russia as a source for potential signings this summer.
Major tournaments offer the perfect platform for players of many nations to present their talent to the world, in the hope of attracting the attentions from a Premier League club and all its riches.
Sometimes stars are born on the international stage, with Colombia international James Rodriguez dominating the headlines at the 2014 World Cup and subsequently winning a move to Real Madrid.
Here we look at three players from the 2014 World Cup who were linked with a move to Tottenham at the time and where they are now to see if they would have represented a good buy.
Valencia bagged 18 goals in 23 games for Pachuca and 10 goals in 10 games for Ecuador in 2014, including three strikes at the 2014 World Cup. His form won him a move to West Ham United.
The 28-year-old, however, struggled for form with the Hammers as he managed just eight goals in 54 Premier League games, and a further three goals in 21 games during a loan spell at Everton.
His struggles in England prompted a return to Mexico as he joined Tigres last summer.
According to the BBC, Morgan Schneiderlin was heavily linked with a move to Tottenham as boss Mauricio Pochettino looked to sign his former Southampton player, but it was another target Spurs missed out on.
The France international midfielder’s stock was extremely high in England at the time following his impressive displays for Saints, and he played the full 90 minutes for the French in a 0-0 draw with Ecuador in Brazil.
Schneiderlin ultimately stayed with Southampton for another season, before moving to Manchester United in the summer of 2015.
The 28-year-old struggled at Old Trafford, however, and later joined Everton to link up with another of his former managers, Ronald Koeman. He remains at Goodison Park to this day.
Atletico Madrid striker Antoine Griezmann was said to be close to joining Tottenham in the summer of 2014, saying as much when he published his autobiography three years later (the Mirror).
The France international was playing for Real Sociedad at the time, and he started France’s opening game at the World Cup in 2014 in place of the injured Franck Ribery as Les Blues defeated Honduras 3-0.
The independent claimed Spurs bid £15 million for Griezmann, but they were knocked back and the 27-year-old went on to sign for fellow La Liga side Atletico Madrid.
He has since become one of the world’s best players, scoring 112 goals in 209 games in all competitions for Diego Simeone’s side and now he has been heavily linked with a mega-money move to Barcelona.
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