The Euro 2020 players who everyone now wants, including Liverpool and Arsenal transfer targets and strikers compared to Dennis Bergkamp and Zlatan Ibrahimovic

There’s no better time to showcase your talent than at a tournament like Euro 2020.

Eyes from across the globe watched as many of the usual suspects impressed such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Romelu Lukaku and Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Italy won the tournament, beating England on penalties in the final
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Meanwhile, some not yet fully established stars made that jump during the finals including Federico Chiesa, Pedri, Leonardo Spinazzola and of course England stars Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw.

And then there’s been a group of players who have come come out the woodwork and thrust themselves into the football limelight.

You’ve always got that one mate who gives it ‘I knew they’d have a great tournament’ (trust nothing that person says!) but no one really could have predicted they’d have such a great tournament.

talkSPORT.com has picked out six stars of Euro 2020 who nobody paid attention to before but now everyone wants a piece of.

Which Euro 2020 star took you by surprise?

Manuel Locatelli

At risk of sounding like that mate, we did tell you to look out for Locatelli just before the tournament started!

In Marco Verratti’s absence, Locatelli acquitted himself well as he started the Azzurri’s first two group matches. He fired in two goals in a 3-0 win over Switzerland on June 16.

His first was one from close range but it finished a move he started thanks to his excellent ball to the right. Locatelli’s second was a fizzing strike into the corner of the net from range.

Chelsea and Manchester City had been linked with Locatelli, who plays for Serie A side Sassuolo. Arsenal then became heavily linked with him as the tournament went on but it’s now believed the 23-year-old midfielder is holding out on a move to Juventus.

Looks like Locatelli has snubbed Arsenal to stay at Sassuolo. That’ll sting Gooners

Denzel Dumfries

It wouldn’t be unreasonable to say right-back Dumfries was the Netherlands’ biggest attacking threat at Euro 2020.

His marauding runs down the right caused their opponents all sorts of problems as the Dutch breezed through Group C with a maximum nine points.

The PSV Eindhoven man scored the winner against Ukraine while also getting a goal and an assist in a 2-0 victory over Austria.

Everton are understood to be interested in the 25-year-old but maybe more clubs would be in the mix had the Netherlands’ campaign not come to such a sudden end.

Dumfries got two goals and an assist at Euro 2020. Not bad for his first major tournament
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Patrik Schick

But the Netherlands had no answers for Schick and the Czech Republic as they claimed a surprise 2-0 win in the last-16 tie.

Schick finished joint-top scorer alongside Ronaldo with five strikes, including a spectacular effort from the halfway line in the victory against Scotland.

talkSPORT’s Andy Brassell said before the tournament started that in Italy, where Schick played his club football for four years the 25-year-old has been likened to Dennis Bergkamp for a while.

His exploits in the summer show why those comparisons are there and it’s no surprise the likes of Liverpool, Everton and Aston Villa have been linked with him.

Patrik Schick
Schick’s stunner in Scotland won the Euro 2020 goal of the tournament award

Emil Forsberg

If you’re outshining Robert Lewandowski then you’ve had a good day.

That’s what Forsberg did when Sweden met Poland – Sweden winning the enthralling Group E match 3-2.

Forsberg showed exactly why Bayern Munich are reportedly interested in him during other matches too, netting the winner against Slovakia, while also scoring against Ukraine in the last-16.

However, that interest grew during the tournament with Liverpool and Arsenal later linked with the 29-year-old.

Forsberg could be playing alongside Lewandowski at Bayern soon, or may even be his replacement
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Alexander Isak

His tournament didn’t really get going but the excitement around Isak, who’s been likened to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, hasn’t diminished.

The young striker didn’t score in the tournament but was hugely praised for the way he led the line, especially during the goalless draw in their group match against Spain where he was very unlucky not to get a goal and an assist.

As soon as the match finished it was reported that Arsenal were going to pursue him this summer, however, Isak has suggested he’s happy to stay at Real Sociedad this summer.

Isak was also responsible for a hilarious moment of the tournament as he claimed not to know who Gary Lineker is

Granit Xhaka

Sure, plenty were paying attention to this guy before Euro 2020 started. It wasn’t the good kind, though.

Arsenal fans would have happy to see the back of the midfielder but may just reconsider their stance following his brilliant performances for Switzerland.

He was man-of-the-match as the Swiss knocked out world champions France and was missed by his teammates in the next round, which saw them lose to Spain.

Xhaka looked all set for a move to Roma but that’s gone quiet lately. Maybe Gunners boss Mikel Arteta won’t want to sanction the move just yet.

Xhaka joined Arsenal after Euro 2016. Will his exploits at Euro 2020 encourage them to keep him?
AFP