Whilst the international break is usually a time to forget about club football, the Premier League has so many imports that most teams have at least a couple of players who will be playing somewhere in the world.
While Southampton’s Manolo Gabbiadini had a night to forget in the San Siro on Monday as he watched his team crash out of the World Cup to a resilient Sweden, many other Premier League stars had a somewhat more positive impact on the international stage.
Colin Millar has listed five Premier League players who excelled in the course of this international break.
1 Son Heung-min
The Tottenham forward netted a brace to give Shin Tae-yong his first victory as South Korea boss in a 2-1 friendly win over Colombia on Friday.
The 25-year-old has hit top form for Spurs since the start of the 2016/17 campaign with 24 goals in all competitions and he has brought this across into international duty.
Son’s first saw him wriggle away from two defenders and fire home through goalkeeper Leandro Castellanos while his second, on the hour mark, could and perhaps should have been saved by the debutant.
The goals took Son above Augsburg midfielder Koo Ja-cheol as the country’s highest international scorer in the current squad having netted 20 times in 61 caps.
The Taeguk Warriors will be competing in their ninth consecutive World Cup this summer and enjoyed an impressive break by beating Colombia before drawing with Serbia.
2 Romelu Lukaku
After not finding the net in his past seven matches for Manchester United, boss Jose Mourinho would have been delighted to see the Belgian striker net twice in their pulsating 3-3 draw with Mexico.
The 24-year-old has now equalled his nation’s all-time leading international goalscoring record. He now has 18 goals for club and country this campaign.
Lukaku’s first shot brought about a fine save which allowed Eden Hazard to tap home for the Red Devils before he nudged home two close-range finishes to restore vital confidence.
The striker now has 11 goals in eight caps for Belgium this calendar year and this week showed signs there are few better goal scorers in world football.
3 David Silva
The Manchester City playmaker struck twice as Spain cruised to a 5-0 defeat of Costa Rica, making it 15 matches unbeaten under manager Julen Lopetegui.
The former Valencia man was at his mercurial best for La Roja – providing the cross for Alvaro Morata to double his side’s lead before going on to net twice himself.
His first followed a mix-up in the opposition defence and a cool finish from the 31-year-old. His second, four minutes later, came from the edge of the box after the midfielder won the ball on the by-line.
Silva now has 35 goals in 110 caps for Spain and looks certain to star at next summer’s finals in Russia.
4 Ruben Loftus-Cheek
The 21-year-old marked his first international appearance by displaying a Man of the Match performance in an otherwise dull encounter with Germany.
The Lewisham-native joined Crystal Palace this summer on a season-long loan from Chelsea and, despite muscular injuries, has been the best performer in the Eagles side this campaign to date.
A clever nutmeg on Germany’s Marcel Halstenberg in the 18th minute set the tone for a confident display which showed his assuredness and quality.
Elsewhere on the pitch, Loftus-Cheek provided a perfectly-timed chipped pass for Jamie Vardy and his surging runs from deep proved a constant threat for the world champions.
Many will question why he was not afforded as much as a sole Premier League start for Chelsea last season, such has his promise been.
5 Leroy Sane
Perhaps the difference between England and other elite European nations can be seen in the difference between Loftus-Cheek and German star Leroy Sane.
Both touted as future stars from a young age, Loftus-Cheek did not start once in the league last season but by the time Manchester City paid £38 million for the prodigious German, he had already racked up 57 appearances for Schalke.
However, the winger missed the Confederations Cup as he had nose surgery to correct a breathing problem, while his only start for the national side this autumn came against Azerbaijan.
Enjoying incredible form with City – eight goals already this season – his stock is rising by the week and another display of excellence at Wembley on Friday showed the World Cup could be his platform next summer.
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