The entire footballing world watches the World Cup for a reason. Not only is it the premier tournament for international football, but it’s also the place where big clubs can target standout players for post-World Cup transfers!
The 2022 World Cup has been one of shocking results and stunning upsets, so it’s not strange to see players who made it happen to make their way into the transfer wire. With the January window only two weeks away, this is the best time to discuss which players could bolster your favorite club to play better.
Football fans who bet at OKBET were surprised when Cristiano Ronaldo barely played in the World Cup’s knockout stages. However, the benching made sense after seeing Goncalo Ramos tear it up on the attack.
The Benfica forward, who didn’t even start during two of Portugal’s first two games, exited the tournament as the Selecao das Quintas’ top scorer with three goals. All his goals came from their Round-of-16 game against Switzerland, where he capped the win with an exquisite hat-trick.
Aside from his breakout international performance, he’s also shining for the Eagles. He bagged nine goals and an assist in 11 league appearances. While his Champions League tally of one goal in 406 minutes of football is lackluster at best, there are plenty of positives about his game to be excited about.
The 21-year-old is valued at €24 million, but clubs looking to poach him from the Primeira Liga leaders will have to cough up more to get their man. Manchester United are especially interested after seeing him stand out over their former man Ronaldo.
Ghana may have left the World Cup in a disappointing fashion. However, the group stage was the perfect platform for Mohammed Kudus to announce his arrival.
Alfred Schreuder frequently used Kudus up front in Ajax, but the World Cup showcased how dominant he can be as an attacking midfielder. He was the centerpiece of the Black Stars’ attack as he netted two goals throughout the group stage.
The 22-year-old starlet has been a revelation for Ghana. He scored five goals in his 14 appearances for Lucky Ajax, but his Champions League showing reveals his taste for high-stakes football. While Ajax failed to make the knockout stages, his four goals and two assists secured their Europa League ticket.
Arsenal and Liverpool are among the most prominent names interested in his services. While Transfermarkt values him at €15 million, reports suggest that interested suitors must have at least £40 million ready at Ajax’s door.
Any World Cup fan will tell you Japan’s inspiring run was one of the best stories of the tournament. Ritsu Doan was one of the key players who drove the Samurai Blue past Germany and Spain to finish at the top of Group E.
The SC Freiburg winger was the definition of a super sub after scoring goals off the bench. While he was nullified during Japan’s loss to Croatia, his defensive contribution and energy on the right side of the pitch pushed the Vatreni to a penalty shootout.
The 24-year-old Japanese winger is instrumental in Freiburg’s hot start in the Bundesliga. He bagged two goals and two assists for the Breisgau-Brasilianer in 15 league appearances. His terrific form in the Europa League (7.22 player rating, one goal, and one assist) also displays his ability to perform well on the biggest stages.
Roma expressed their interest in acquiring the winger, valued at €12 million. However, they’ll unlikely let their key starter leave the club for less than €20 million.
Few expected Croatia to make a semifinal appearance after meeting Brazil in the quarterfinals. However, Josko Gvardiol was the defensive lynchpin whose prowess nullified Neymar and the Canarinho’s potent attack.
Gvardiol is the only youngster in a Croatian side full of veteran leadership. The rest of the Croatian backline was at least four years older than him, but he more than held his own against the world’s best footballers. Unfortunately, Messi had him running in circles after Argentina progressed to the final.
His future in the national setup is bright, and Premier League clubs are keen to make him one of their critical post-World Cup transfers. Manchester City, Chelsea, and Tottenham are reportedly willing to match the €60 million evaluation of the young center-back.
Almost every key player on the Morocco national team will garner attention from some of football’s top clubs. Still, only a few would hold a candle to the attention Sofyan Amrabat will command in the January transfer window.
The Fiorentina midfielder showcased the quality that convinced the Viola to spend €19.5 million for his signature in 2020. He was a key defender who also provided target passes to Morocco’s rampaging wing players. He’s a pivotal figure in the historic African side’s top-four finish.
Unfortunately, his club form paints a stark contrast to his brilliant run for the Atlas Lions. During the season, Fiorentina coach Vincenzo Italiano had to sub him off the pitch six out of ten times.
Maybe a change of scenery is just what he needs to keep his fantastic run of form going. He might get that, as Liverpool and Atletico Madrid are two of the sides interested in his services. While he’s valued at €10 million, his stellar performances in Qatar will get him a bigger move to a high-profile club.
Teams are always looking for terrific players during the World Cup. However, players who played great on the international stage aren’t always assured of a fantastic club career. The more recent examples of players who failed to meet their World Cup hype include Aleksandr Golovin, James Rodriguez, and Marcus Rojo.
Moreover, some clubs need help fitting certain players into their style of play. For example, Premier League clubs struggle to fit Japanese players into their system. Shinji Kagawa and Takumi Minamino were two players who had unproductive spells in the Premier League.
These players are undoubtedly talented, but it takes more than that to succeed. The right system, environment, and luck play significant roles in whether post-World Cup transfers actually pan out.