Gakpo, Musah, Fernandez amongst prime younger gamers up to now

The 2022 World Cup is sort of on the knockout levels, however which gamers have impressed up to now?

We’ll ignore the likes of Argentina‘s Lionel Messi and France‘s Kylian Mbappe, who’re already properly often known as the perfect gamers on this planet, and deal with these youthful stars whose performances have elevated them to a unique degree.

Before the match, we ran by way of the perfect prospects beneath the age of 23 and a lot of these — England‘s Jude Bellingham, Brazil‘s Rodrygo and Germany‘s Jamal Musiala amongst them — have shone vibrant in Qatar. But with a watch on the January switch market in a month’s time, which gamers have boosted their probabilities of a transfer with their efforts on the World Cup?

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Cody Gakpo, 23, attacking midfielder/ahead, Netherlands / PSV

Already on the radar of a number of golf equipment earlier than the World Cup, the Netherlands ahead has scored a purpose in every of the three group-stage video games and appears to thrive on the added stress that comes with a serious championship. Playing in a barely extra central attacking position than he does for PSV, Gakpo has tailored admirably by choosing the right areas and angles, displaying first-class mixture play and neat ending, whereas offering a continuous, unpredictable risk to the opposing again line. Athletic, energetic and technically sensible, Gakpo has grow to be a key participant for Netherlands and can certainly be the topic of loads of curiosity from Manchester United and others in January.

Yunus Musah, 20, central midfielder, USA / Valencia

The World Cup has proved a coming-of-age expertise for the American midfielder. Going into the match, his dynamic ball-carrying and fast, sensible approach have been properly documented from his time in LaLiga, however he is proven himself to be a tough employee with a powerful perspective. Creatively there’s extra to return from Musah on this match, but his inspirational show towards Iran — he closed down house and hustled the opposition (24 challenges) till he ran out of steam within the dying minutes — showcased an perspective worthy of a prime participant.

Enzo Fernandez, central midfielder, 21, Argentina / Benfica

Though Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni could have been economical in utilising the Benfica midfielder up to now, Fernandez has nonetheless supplied a momentum-changing impression. Aside from his purpose towards Mexico — a stunning curled effort from the sting of the field — he is been in every single place; profitable headers and tackles, including high quality and creativity on the ball, and making energetic bursts from central areas. Despite having solely moved to Portugal from River Plate for €12m in the summertime, the curiosity in Fernandez just isn’t more likely to diminish forward of the subsequent switch window as he’s beginning to appear to be a probably top-class midfielder.

Tajon Buchanan, 23, winger, Canada / Club Brugge

The winger has struggled to step out of the shadows of teammates Alphonso Davies and Jonathan David, however Buchanan’s performances in Qatar have earned him some well-deserved time within the highlight. Energetic and filled with stamina, the younger Canadian has caught the attention along with his electrical tempo, high-speed working at defenders (13 dribbles towards Croatia) and tireless perspective. While his relentless need to tackle opponents could trigger him to lose possession an excessive amount of, he is usually decided to trace again to regain it and will make the step up from Club Brugge.

Jakub Kiwior, 22, centre-back, Poland / Spezia

Facing Mexico within the opening fixture, the Poland centre-back — who was a left-back at youth degree — put in a assured and guaranteed show on his World Cup debut. Alongside veteran Kamil Glik, Kiwior dealt properly with crosses, anticipated hazard early and made tremendous use of his mobility to maintain up in one-vs.-ones, whereas additionally displaying the psychological alertness to swiftly execute blocks. When enjoying out from the again, the Spezia defender tends to go for low threat passes with none pointless flamboyance. As Poland got here beneath siege towards Argentina, he turned up on the proper second with a vital purpose line clearance.

Josko Gvardiol, 20, centre-back, Croatia / RB Leipzig

Having arrived in Qatar with a popularity as one of many prime younger defenders within the sport, the 20-year-old Croatian has hardly put a foot fallacious within the opening matches. His high quality on the ball is spectacular — the 115 touches towards Morocco present how he’s trusted to play out from the again — and he has operated with the authority of a participant far past his years. Focused and decided, Gvardiol enters challenges with most conviction and, even at this stage of his profession, he appears to have a “fear factor” to place off the opposition. With Man City, Chelsea, Juventus and different elite European golf equipment , he’s destined for a giant transfer quickly.

Mohammed Kudus, 22, attacking midfielder, Ghana / Ajax

The Ghana attacking midfielder has been among the best gamers of the group stage. With his brace towards South Korea he introduced himself correctly on the world stage, and his total contribution has been very good. Whether enjoying in a central attacking midfield place or chopping in from the precise, the left-footed Kudus is environment friendly at getting away from his marker earlier than unbalancing the opposing defence with purposeful ball-carrying. Yet, regardless of being recognised for his potential on the ball — particularly his dribbling — Kudus additionally places in a defensive shift, as confirmed by him averaging 15 challenges per sport.

Aissa Laidouni, 25, central midfielder, Tunisia / Ferencvaros

With his performances for Tunisia, Laidouni has risen from relative obscurity to recommend he could possibly be an honest participant. Though raised in France, Laidouni has needed to work his manner up by way of Romanian and Hungarian membership soccer. But his assured, constant performances over the previous week might see him focused as a shrewd, low-cost goal for a medium-sized membership in a serious European league. From the centre of the Tunisia midfield he created, organised, sprayed high quality passes and confirmed off the odd second of finesse on the ball (his nutmeg on France’s Eduardo Camavinga springs to thoughts), whereas nonetheless tackling avidly, profitable one-vs.-ones and recovering possession.

Piero Hincapie, 20, centre-back, Ecuador / Bayer Leverkusen

Already probably the most sought-after younger defenders in Europe, Hincapie confirmed a reasonably correct snapshot of his capabilities in Qatar. In the opening match towards the hosts, he was primarily occupied with ball circulation from his place on the left of a central defensive pair, whereas he was excellent (once more, to the left) within the again three towards Netherlands. Through tempo and good anticipation, he hardly conceded a defensive duel towards the latter, whereas he received the ball within the opposing half when pushing up and dominated within the air too. Giving away a calamitous penalty towards Senegal was clumsy at greatest, but it does not spoil an total constructive impression.

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