By: Craig Simpkin
The Copa America has reached its semi final stage, and the tournament has been graced with all manner of controversy, glory and fantastic football.
A number of players have caught the eye – some who are well known and some who aren’t, and scouts from across the globe have been casting a glance over the leading lights.
So who are shining stars of Copa America set for big money moves this summer?
Chile have been by far and away the standout team in the tournament so far, and that has been built on a highly effective midfield diamond.
And whilst Arturo Vidal has taken the majority of the plaudits, it’s his partner in crime Charles Aranguiz who has really stood out.
His ability to keep the ball, recycle possession and allow more attacking forces like Vidal and Alexis Sanchez to shine has confirmed his position as the glue that holds this Chile team together, and Aranguiz has even found time to bag two goals of his own.
The 26-year-old is currently employed by Internacional, but his style of play looks an absolutely perfect fit for the likes of Manchester City and Arsenal. Watch this space.
The Argentinean centre half established himself as one of the finest defenders in world football after a series of assured displays in the 2014 World Cup.
Ironically, Garay had already put pen to paper on a three year deal to join Zenit St Petersburg prior to that tournament, which prevented him from joining one of the European elite.
But tongues are wagging again after Garay’s solid performances during his side’s advance to the last four – Argentina have not conceded a single goal since their opening match, and rumours persist that the South American is unhappy in the Russian climate.
This will alert the big four in England, as well as the likes of Real Madrid and PSG.
The tournament’s surprise package has been Peru, who have advanced to the semi finals with consummate ease so far.
That progress has been built on the back of their defensive stability, and one man more than any other has contributed to that. Clean sheets against Venezuela and Colombia ensures their ascent from the group stage, and Bolivia posed little threat in their quarter final encounter.
Zambrano looks to be the stereotypical South American defender: tough in the tackle, strong in the air and comfortable in possession. The European big guns will be taking note of the Eintracht Frankfurt man.
Okay, so he’s well known in the game already, but rumours persist that Vidal’s Juventus future is in the balance.
He’s been in the spotlight recently – a spot of alleged drink-driving saw to that, but his performances on the pitch have been dazzling nonetheless.
He’s Copa America 2015’s top goalscorer with three, and his link-up play with Alexis Sanchez, amongst others, has been breathtaking at times.
It would take a small fortune to convince the Italian giants to part with their midfield dynamo, who helped them to a heady double of Serie A winners and Champions League runners up.
But the Chilean’s style of play seems well suited to either the English or Spanish game, and so there is likely to be a shortage of interested parties.