The W. Cup is almost upon us and all footballers will be preparing to compete against each other on the biggest sporting stage of them all.
The tournament gives the opportunity for relatively unknown players to become overnight sensations and we’ve picked out eight players who could become that in this year’s tournament.
Fekir’s outstanding season at Lyon catapulted him into the international arena, at the cost of the more experienced Anthony Martial and Alexandre Lacazette. He’s captained his club side this season, while also scoring 18 goals and providing 7 assists in Ligue 1.
New Liverpool signing, Fabinho, has already asked him to join him at Anfield, but Lyon might wait until the end of the W. Cup to get the best possible price for the attacking midfielder.
Liverpool, Chelsea, Arsenal, Atletico Madrid
Likely Cost: £50-60 million
Milinkovic-Savic has been demonstrating his talent at Lazio all season and he’ll finally get a chance to prove it on the international stage this summer. He could be one of the stars of the Serbian team, but it’s unlikely that he’ll be a cheap acquisition for any club interested in his services.
He has four years left on his contract at Lazio, but if he performs in the W. Cup, then clubs might splash the cash on the 23-year old.
Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, Real Madrid, Juventus
Likely Cost: £40-60 million
There’s a tug of war going on for Fred by the two Manchester clubs, with rumours heavily linking the Brazilian midfielder to both. He’s been hugely impressive for Shakhtar Donetsk this season and earned a recall to the national side after a three-year absence.
With Brazil as tournament favourites, an impressive W. Cup from the midfielder could see him fired into the spotlight this summer.
Manchester United, Manchester City, Real Madrid
Likely Cost: £45-50 million
The RB Leipzig striker has emerged as a multi-talented player, able to score with both his head and his feet and he’s expected to fill the void upfront for the German national side after the retirement of Miroslav Klose.
It’s unlikely that he’ll be a starter for Germany in the W. Cup, but if he gets some game time and scores some goals, then he won’t be short of offers once the tournament has finished.
Liverpool, Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Juventus
Likely Cost: £40-50 million
Like his club teammate Werner, Emil Forsberg has been impressive in the Bundesliga since RB Leipzig’s promotions two years ago. He was a transfer target for both Arsenal and Tottenham in January and it’s likely they’ll do battle for him again this summer.
He’ll be Sweden’s key player for this tournament and, now aged 26, he’s approaching the prime of his career.
Arsenal, Tottenham, Everton, AC Milan
Likely Cost: £30-35 million
Guedes spent last season on loan from PSG at Valencia and could be one of the breakout stars of the W. Cup if given a chance to play. He earned his first international cap earlier this season, joining the Euro 2016 winners’ squad which also includes Cristiano Ronaldo.
PSG will be keen to keep the player if he performs at the W. Cup, but it’s unlikely that he’ll get much game time in the French capital, and, with the Parisian club needing to make money, he could be sold this summer.
Valencia, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Napoli
Likely Cost: £30 million
Dolberg is the latest young star to come out of Ajax and has become a well-known face around Europe. He now has the opportunity to perform on the international stage this summer, after Denmark qualified for the W. Cup.
Jurgen Klopp is a keen admirer, while there’s also interest from Borussia Dortmund for the young Dane. It’ll be his first major tournament and he could find himself on the move from Amsterdam if it goes well for him.
Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan, Liverpool, Manchester United
Likely Cost: £30-40 million
Sarr is a relatively unknown player, but the 20-year old Rennes player has been named in the Senegal squad and has shown the ability to play with both feet competently.
He only joined Rennes last summer, but has already rejected a move to Barcelona over doubts about playing time, but he could be a target again for the Catalan giants this summer. He’s got four years left on his contract at Rennes, so he won’t be a cheap acquisition either.
Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Manchester City
Likely Cost: £60-70 million