Four players whose stock has risen at the 2022 World Cup
As the World Cup in Qatar carries on into the latter stages of the tournament, now seems like the perfect time to take a look at some of the young players who have impressed us all thus far. So, let’s just dive straight in.
Cody Gakpo – Netherlands
It would be unfair on Cody Gakpo to say he was an entirely unknown entity prior to his standout performances for the Netherlands, as the forward helped his nation become more favourable with those who bet on World Cup at SkyBet.com — he was reportedly very close to joining Manchester United during the summer transfer window, after all.
However, there’s no doubt about the fact that the Middle East-based tournament has helped him show his true skill to the wider world. The 23-year-old, who plies his trade for PSV in his homeland, joined a select list of players who have scored in all three of their country’s group ties — netting against Senegal, Ecuador and Qatar.
While he remains focused on the Dutch’s World Cup campaign for now, he’s going to be a busy boy in January as Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal look set to battle it out for his sought-after signature.
Josko Gvardiol – Croatia
‘Who knows, maybe one day I will be there’. Those were the words of the highly-rated Josko Gvardiol when quizzed on his links with Chelsea following Croatia’s goalless draw with World No.2-ranked Belgium — which secured his nation’s place in the round of 16.
The 20-year-old RB Leipzig centre-back was outstanding in that match against the Red Devils, making an impressive nine clearances and completing 95.2% of his passes as he helped hold Roberto Martinez’s side to a 0-0 draw and send Belgium home earlier than expected.
Gvardiol was equally as impressive in the ties against Canada (4-1) and Morocco (0-0), which perhaps isn’t good news for Chelsea owner Todd Boehly, as the youngster’s price tag might only be getting bigger.
Jamal Musiala – Germany
While Germany were extremely disappointing out in Qatar — failing to get out of the group behind Japan and European rivals Spain — Jamal Musiala was one of the shining lights in Hansi Flick’s side.
The 19-year-old continued to make waves with his impressive performances, registering the assist for DFB-Team’s equaliser against Spain before causing real problems in the 4-2 win over Costa Rica — completing 13 successful dribbles, the second most ever recorded in a World Cup game.
It’s unlikely Musiala is going to leave Bayern anytime soon, but it’s further proof that the Bundesliga giants have a real star on their hands.
Jude Bellingham – England
Moving on to a player whose days in the German top flight are numbered, Jude Bellingham has shown why he’s the No.1 target for almost all of the top Premier League sides with his performances for England.
The 19-year-old has taken the weight of expectation that comes with starting for England at World Cup and ran with it, opening the scoring with his first goal for the Three Lions in the 6-2 over Iran before putting in good shifts against the United States and Wales.
It will be interesting to see which Premier League club he ends up at, but it’s Manchester City who are leading the charge at the minute.