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The World Cup Shop Window. Players Looking to Impress in Qatar

The World Cup Shop Window. Players Looking to Impress in Qatar -Exclude from MSN

The World Cup means different things to different people. While fans will be studying the latest Unibet 2022 World Championships betting odds and following their team hopefully all the way to the final, the tournament means something else entirely for managers, club scouts, agents and the players themselves. Not only is playing on the biggest stage in world football the pinnacle of anyone’s career, it is also a place for players yet to get an opportunity at one of the biggest clubs or leagues to really put themselves in the shop window.

First a word of warning. Basing a buying decision on two or three performances in a situation and under conditions vastly different from the weekly grind of club football does not come without risks, as managers have learnt to their cost before. That said though, the tournament is a fantastic opportunity for players and managers alike. So who are some of the hottest prospects who will be strutting their stuff in Qatar and likely to be watched with the most scrutiny?

Noah Okafor – Switzerland

The Swiss forward has a lot going for him. First of all, he is able to operate as both a wide forward player – with the three up front favoured by many of the top clubs in Europe, this is a huge plus – and in the middle. Secondly, he is at Red Bull Salzburg, a club with a track record of producing and nurturing top young talent, a certain Erling Haaland for one. Not a definite starter for Switzerland, but will get game time, and though he is already receiving interest from Premier League clubs, this tournament could take that to the next level.

Ao Tanaka – Japan

This Japanese midfielder has found a new lease of life since being pushed further upfield, and as such was largely the reason Japan are going to Qatar. More and more Japanese players are making it into the major European leagues, and though currently at Fortuna Düsseldorf, Tanaka’s ability to find space and create chances from nothing will not go unnoticed.

Garang Kuol – Australia

Electrifying pace is a huge part of the modern game, allowing teams to break and transition with speed and precision. This Australian international has that in spades. Likely to be used as an impact sub to attack tired legs in the last twenty minutes, the Central Coast Mariners winger will get his chance against France and Denmark two of the tournament’s fancied teams. If he passes that test, it may not be long before he is plying his trade in Europe.

Akram Afif – Qatar

The star of the Qatar team may sound like damning with faint praise, but Afif is a real star, capable of playing all across the front line, and equally happy and able to create goals as well as finishing them himself. Though playing in Qatar, he does have European experience, and will be seeing this tournament as a stepping stone. Whether he will get more than three games in which to demonstrate his talents is debatable however.

Kamaldeen Sulemana – Ghana

Sulemana’s ability to run with the ball and dribble at pace is a nightmare for any defender. Usually played wide on the left, he is a key part of Ghana’s offensive threat, and has firmly established himself in Ligue 1’s Stade Rennais.

Jonathan David – Canada

Athletic, strong and intelligent, this US-born Canadian international has shown during his time at LOSC Lille he has what it takes to perform at a good level in Europe. David’s nine goals in qualification were crucial in securing his nation’s first World Cup since 1986. Drawn in a group with Belgium, Croatia and Morocco it will be a tough ask to qualify, but it won’t be just Les Rouges fans watching with interest to see how he fares against some of the best defences in world football.

Photo by Unsplash


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Article title: The World Cup Shop Window. Players Looking to Impress in Qatar

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