Gakpo, Musah, Fernandez amongst World Cup prime younger gamers

The 2022 World Cup is nearly on the knockout phases, 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 nicely often called one of the best gamers on the earth, and deal with these youthful stars whose performances have elevated them to a special stage.

Earlier than the match, we ran by means of one of the best prospects beneath the age of 23 and quite a few these — England’s Jude Bellingham, Brazil’s Rodrygo and Germany’s Jamal Musiala amongst them — have shone shiny in Qatar. However with an eye fixed on the January switch market in a month’s time, which gamers have boosted their possibilities 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 bunch of golf equipment earlier than the World Cup, the Netherlands ahead has scored a aim in every of the three group-stage video games and appears to thrive on the added strain that comes with a significant championship. Taking part in in a barely extra central attacking position than he does for PSV, Gakpo has tailored admirably by selecting the correct areas and angles, displaying first-class mixture play and neat ending, whereas offering a continuous, unpredictable menace to the opposing again line. Athletic, energetic and technically sensible, Gakpo has turn into 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 nicely documented from his time in LaLiga, however he is proven himself to be a tough employee with an impressive angle. Creatively there’s extra to return from Musah on this match, but his inspirational show in opposition to Iran — he closed down house and hustled the opposition (24 challenges) till he ran out of steam within the dying minutes — showcased an angle worthy of a prime participant.

Enzo Fernandez, central midfielder, 21, Argentina / Benfica

Although Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni might have been economical in utilising the Benfica midfielder up to now, Fernandez has nonetheless provided a momentum-changing impression. Apart from his aim in opposition to Mexico — a stunning curled effort from the sting of the field — he is been in all places; profitable headers and tackles, including high quality and creativity on the ball, and making energetic bursts from central areas. Regardless of 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 seem like a probably top-class midfielder.

Tajon Buchanan, 23, winger, Canada / Membership 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 in opposition to Croatia) and tireless angle. Whereas his relentless need to tackle opponents might 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 Membership Brugge.

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