Lists

8 Copa America players looking to put themselves in the shop window for a Premier League move

South America's continental competition gets under on Friday, and we've picked out some participants who English clubs will be keeping a close eye on

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Giovani Lo Celso (Argentina)

Giovani Lo Celso

Lo Celso may have only been on Real Betis’ books for a season (and most of that was as a loanee from PSG) but the indications are that the Spanish club would be willing to cash in if the price is right. Most recently a No.10 having previously been deployed in a deep-lying role, the former Rosario Central man looks set to start for his country at the Copa. Tottenham reportedly had a bid rejected last week, and they could be joined in the race by one or more of their big-six rivals if Lo Celso shines in Brazil.

David Neres (Brazil)

David Neres

Neymar’s injury-enforced absence is a blow to Brazil, who are looking to keep up their 100 per cent record of winning the Copa America on home soil. Neres stands to benefit, though; after a superb season at Ajax, the 22-year-old could force his way into Tite’s starting XI. Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea have all been linked with the forward, who scored 10 goals and set up 10 more in the Eredivisie and Champions League this term.

Wuilker Farinez (Venezuela)

Wuilker Farinez

Standing at just 6ft, Farinez is on the short side for a goalkeeper – but he more than makes up for a lack of height in other areas. Possessing superb agility and razor-sharp reflexes, the 21-year-old is surely one good tournament away from securing a move to Europe. Currently plying his trade with Millonarios in Colombia, the 2017 Under-20 World Cup runner-up is arguably already the best keeper in the South American domestic game.

Almoez Ali (Qatar)

Almoez Ali

No, this isn’t a misprint: Qatar really are participating in this summer’s Copa America. And the upcoming World Cup hosts aren’t there to simply make up the numbers, having already sprung a surprise this year by winning the Asian Cup in January. Ali was named Player of the Tournament in the United Arab Emirates, with the striker’s nine goals setting a new competition record. Further success on the bigger stage that is the Copa could tempt a Premier League club to take a punt.

Santiago Arzamendia (Paraguay)

Santiago Arzamendia

Several Premier League teams are in the market for a left-back this summer, and Arzamendia is a player who could soon be added to English shopping lists. The Argentina-born Paraguaya international is certainly one to watch at the 46th edition of South America’s continental competition, with his bursts down the flank and pinpoint crossing likely to draw the attention of any scouts watching on.

Everton Soares (Brazil)

Everton Soares

Everton is unlikely to start for Brazil this summer despite Neymar’s injury, but he’s the type of player capable of making a major impact as a substitute. The Gremio forward has already caught the attention of Manchester United and Manchester City with his displays at club level, where his tricky dribbling has given many a full-back twisted blood. Helping the Selecao win their ninth Copa could earn Everton a big-money move before the start of next season.

Maxi Gomez (Uruguay)

Maxi Gomez

Both Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani are approaching the end of their careers, with Gomez in pole position to eventually usurp one of them in the starting line-up. That may not come as early as this Copa America, but the Celta Vigo marksman, who stuck 13 league goals for a struggling side in 2018/19,  will still have opportunities to impress in Brazil. Tottenham will be paying particularly close attention having monitored the 22-year-old throughout the club campaign.

James Rodriguez (Colombia)

James Rodriguez

A bigger name than the others on this list, James doesn’t need a shop window to the same extent as the above names. Nevertheless, his future is in doubt: Real Madrid are looking to sell him this summer, with Bayern Munich – with whom he spent the last two seasons on loan – deciding against submitting a permanent offer. If the playmaker is at his dazzling best in the next few weeks, it could persuade a Premier League club or two to bite the bullet.

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