As a 21-year-old forward, you don’t show up to Wembley and bang in a brilliant free-kick against England without Premier League clubs standing up and taking notice.
Mikkel Damsgaard had an exceptional Euro 2020, and while Denmark’s emotional tournament ended with heartbreak in London, they look to have a bright future with Christian Eriksen‘s heir-apparent at the centre of it all.
The shining light of 90min’s Our 21, Damsgaard stepped up after Eriksen’s health scare and delivered some dazzling performances on Denmark’s way to the semi-finals. And despite Sampdoria’s determination to keep hold of him this summer, it does seem a tad inevitable that he will end up in the Premier League at some point soon.
There is a list as long as your arm of English clubs who would take him in a heartbeat, and depending on who you believe, a few of them will be tabling bids in the weeks ahead.
But who actually needs him? We’ve assessed the contenders for his signature and taken a look.
Marcelo Bielsa loves his explosive, hard-working wingers, but he already has two who are virtually nailed on to start in Jack Harrison and Raphinha.
Patrick Bamford isn’t giving up the striker slot any time soon, and there is no real room in Bielsa’s system for a No. 10, so it isn’t abundantly clear where the minutes would come from for Damsgaard if he moved to Elland Road.
It would, however, be ludicrous amounts of fun to watch him thrive in Bielsa’s high-pressing, free-flowing system, so here’s hoping.
Liverpool are in need of some attacking reinforcements in the long-term. Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane all turn 30 in the next year, and Diogo Jota can’t do it all on his own once their abilities start to wane.
For now, however, all four of those players are still there. So while Damsgaard would be useful backup and an eventual heir to one of the holy trinity, his position isn’t an immediate priority for Jurgen Klopp.
Brendan Rodgers is making some serious moves at the King Power this summer, with Patson Daka and Boubakary Soumare strengthening an already enviable squad.
He could certainly do with some creativity between the lines, however, and the dextrous Damsgaard could slot into multiple positions in Rodgers’ set-up.
Do they have another £30m-40m in the bank to go out and sign him, when they already have James Maddison and Harvey Barnes doing a similar job? That remains to be seen, but he would represent another statement of intent from the Foxes.
It’s looking like there will soon be a Jack Grealish-shaped hole to fill at Aston Villa, and while he will take some replacing, Damsgaard seems like a pretty good fit.
He’s a different player to Grealish, but carries a similar direct threat, and he is at his best playing off the shoulder of a striker – which is often what Grealish is asked to do.
The arrival of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich means replacing their captain isn’t a matter of immediate urgency, but they will be putting some of the funds raised by his sale to use.
Arsenal have many problems to address this summer, but chief among them is a lack of depth in attacking midfield after the expiry of Martin Odegaard’s loan.
Damsgaard is exactly the profile of player they should be looking at. As a younger player, he fits the bill for their recruitment strategy, but he also has the quality and consistency to step in for a run of starts and keep Emile Smith Rowe on his toes.
Plus he’s much, much better than Willian.
It’s a similar story for West Ham, who have a job on their hands to replace Jesse Lingard’s spectacular form.
David Moyes has a tendency to mix it up tactically. He spent much of last season switching between 4-2-3-1, 3-4-3 and 3-5-2 formations, but no matter how he wants to set up, there is a role for Damsgaard in any of them, such is the youngster’s versatility and diverse skillset.
He provides the sort of quality they are going to need if they want to genuinely compete in Europe. It just makes sense.
This one is a little on the nose, but who better to replace Christian Eriksen than the man who literally just replaced Christian Eriksen for Denmark at the Euros?
Denmark’s Euro 2020 started in tragic circumstances with Eriksen’s on-pitch collapse, and it looked as if they were down and out after losing their first two games.
But Damsgaard stepped up, firing in the opener against Russia that got them off the mark, and he held an Eriksen-esque influence over the side from then on as they made it as far as the last four.
It’s easy to see where the reported interest from Tottenham comes from, then, and it’s obvious he’d be a step up on the likes of Lucas Moura and Steven Bergwijn.