Now that the World Cup has come to an end, we at PLZ Soccer have picked our top five players that could earn a big move following their performances in Qatar.
The Brighton midfielder has already been catching the eye with his performances in the English Premier League this season, it was in Qatar however that he really elevated his game to another level. Whilst the imperious Lionel Messi dragged opposition defenders across the park, Macallister operated in the open channels creating chances for the dynamic front line.
His tenacious style of play was a key factor in Argentina powering their way to a third World Cup title, as they seemed to grow with every game. In an era of high pressing and rapid turnovers, the 23-year-old will no doubt be on the radar of Champions League sides looking to add another string to their attacking bow.
Debatably the breakout star of this World Cup, Ounahi was a key cog in the Morocco midfield that made an unlikely run to the semi-finals. Currently plying his trade in French League 1 for Angers, it seems a matter of time before he makes the step up to a bigger side, with English Premier League teams already rumoured to be circling.
At 22, Ounahi is the optimal age for a move into the higher echelons of European football. He would offer any side a versatile and dynamic option in the middle of the park. Able to receive the ball in tight spaces and gravitate forward, he seems to be a perfect option for any side looking to revitalise their midfield.
A player that will almost certainly be on the move next summer, if not in January, as big clubs circle for the RB Leipzig defender. A left back by trade, Gvardiol proved in Qatar that he is equally comfortable playing in the centre of defence. He also has the bonus of time being on his side, given that he doesn’t turn 21 until early next year.
Chealsea reportedly had a €90 million bid rejected for the Croatian, implying it will take a mammoth bid to dislodge him from his RB Leipzig contract which runs until 2027. What is certain though, is that any team investing in Gvardiol are potentially getting one of the world finest defenders for years to come.
Already a regular for Fiorentina, Amrabat has been playing against top opposition for several years. Given the opportunity to shine in the shop window of the World Cup however, he took his chance to earn a potential top move. Liverpool are already being touted as a potential suitor, with reports in Italy suggesting it would take a bid north of €40 million to bring him to Merseyside.
His world cup could be encapsulated by a tackle on Kylian Mbappe in the semi-final as Morocco became the first African team to reach the latter stages of the contest. Making up almost 30 yards, Amrabat steamed in with a crunching challenge coming away cleanly with the ball, leaving the mercurial Mbappe in a heap after been given a lesson in the art of defending.
Okay, it’s no secret that Cody Gakpo has been on the radar of top-level sides since last summer, however he confirmed his status as one of the games hottest prospects with an explosive tournament for the Netherlands. After scoring three goals in his opening three games, he joined an exclusive club with Dennis Bergkamp, Wesley Sneijder and Johan Neeskens. Whilst Gakpo is not at the level of these illustrious names yet, he was undoubtedly to stand out star for Louis Van Gaal’s emerging side.
Eric Ten Hag has been making eyes at the PSV forward for the best part of a year as he tries to lure him to Manchester. Gakpo’s club manager Ruud Van Nistelrooy has already admitted that ‘there comes a time when you can’t say no’ to letting the player move on and going by recent performances that will be sooner rather than later.