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World Cup 2018: Six players who have starred in Russia

Its a cliche that the World Cup is a shop window for players to attract attention and earn moves in club football, but its also true.

The pinnacle of international football sees 32 nations compete, 64 games broadcast and 736 players potentially getting on the pitch. Thats plenty of opportunity to catch the eye.

With the group stages coming towards its conclusion, City A.M. has picked out six players who have increased their chances of a move with some impressive performances.

Read more: The machine minds behind Belgium's secret weapon for England

Hirving Lozano, Mexico

Lozano – or “Chucky”, as he prefers – wasnt a complete unknown before the World Cup, having lit up the Dutch Eredivisie with 17 goals and eight assists for PSV Eindhoven last season.

However, in three matches the 22-year-old has turned himself from an exciting talent into just about the hottest property on the market.

His lightning pace, trickery and direct style are sure to have won plenty of admirers, with his goal on the counter-attack giving Mexico a deserved 1-0 win over Germany.

The PSV winger loves to cut inside from the left onto his right foot, but can also play on the opposite flank. Interest from Europes biggest and best is no surprise.

Ante Rebic, Croatia

Croatias line up is full of Champions League regulars, with Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and Mario Mandzukic leading a side full of class.

Rebic, a 24-year-old winger from Eintracht Frankfurt, therefore had a difficult task on his hands to make an impact, but thats exactly what he has achieved.

Ante Rebic scored the opener in Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina (Source: Getty)

And its not just his improvised volleyed finish to embarrass Willy Caballero in Croatias 3-0 win over Argentina that has done it.

Rebic is strong, hard-working and versatile and looks like he would suit the Premier League. German newspaper Bild reports that Tottenham are among those interested.

Moussa Wague, Senegal

Senegals right-back earned attention and some cursory googling when he fired into the roof of the net at the back post to put his side 2-1 up against Japan.

The goal, Wagues first in international football, saw the 19-year-old become the youngest ever African goalscorer at a World Cup.

Wague is currently at Belgian club KAS Eupen, after graduating from Qatars Aspire Academy, but his goal and general strong performances for Senegal may have put him on the radar of other, bigger outfits.

Juan Quintero, Colombia

Not a new name, but one reborn. Quintero fell out of love with football following a move to Porto in 2013, but has refound it while on loan back in South America and its shown at the World Cup.

Alongside James Rodriguez and Juan Cuadrado, the diminutive left-footed playmaker has looked the real deal, buzzing in between the lines with confidence while offering flashes of brilliance.

Real Madrid got their chequebook out to sign Rodriguez and Costa Rica goalkeeper Keylor Navas on the back of their performances at the 2014 World Cup.

If Colombia go deep into the tournament Quintero could earn a similar move and indeed has already been linked with interest from Real.

Aleksandr Golovin, Russia

Before the World Cup, many football fans only knew Golovin for scoring a free-kick for CSKA Moscow against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium in April.

After Russias explosive start to the tournament, in which they put five past Saudi Arabia and beat Egypt to qualify for the last 16, Golovin is now known for much more.

FBL-WC-2018-RUS-KSA
Aleksandr Golovin was Russia's star player in the tournament-opener against Saudi Arabia (Source: Getty)

The cultured central midfielder began the World Cup by running the show against Saudi Arabia, capping the two-assist display with a curling free-kick.

The 22-year-old has continued to impress since, showing intelligence, good technique and the ability to unpick a defence.

A big move is on the cards, with Italian giants Juventus reportedly keen on the Russian.

Hiroki Sakai, Japan

Like Japan themselves, their right-back has been consistently and surprisingly impressive in a brilliantly entertaining Group H.

Sakai, a tall and athletic defender, is often seen bombing on the overlap to offer his side an out-ball. In the 2-2 draw with Senegal he was a constant thorn in the oppositions side.

At 28, hes not the typical young up-and-coming talent, but Sakai is familiar with European football, having played at Hannover in Germany and now with Marseille in France.

His nickname “Modest Sakai” suggests he has a sound temperament to go with his all around ability on the pitch.

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