Today at the office my editor and I got into a discussion about my article on the young players to watch out for in the World Cup starting today. He was convinced there were still more players that had not been discussed and we realised we had not emphasised on all the young players who will grace Russia. So we decided to create another list of young players under 23 to look out for.
- Dele Alli, England, 22
Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli is one of England’s biggest stars and a lot is expected from him after an underwhelming season at Tottenham. Despite that, Dele has bags of talent capable of making runs from deep to get goals in the box. He is physically strong and adaptable in midfield. He has already made 25 appearances for England including a goal on his debut.
- Timo Werner, Germany, 22
Werner is just 22 but he seems to have been playing for a long-time, especially for Bundesliga followers. He started his career in VfB Stuttgart before transferring to RB Leipzig in 2016. Werner is a prolific goal scorer with 34 goals in 63 Bundesliga appearances for Leipzig and eight goals in 14 matches for Germany. He also was awarded the Golden Boot winner in the 2017 Confederations Cup with three goals, which helped Germany lift the trophy. Werner is direct and possesses great pace on the ball, physical strength and fantastic finishing ability. He will be one to watch at the World Cup.
- Ramadan Sobhi, Egypt, 21
Ramadan is an attacking midfielder and winger with a lot of skill and creativity. He will occupy the left flank for Egypt and will be their next source of creativity and skill after Mo Salah. Ramadan recently signed for Huddersfield Town after his transfer from Stoke, a club he never really hit the ground running in. He started his career with Al Ahly of Egypt and Ramadan will have to impress for Egypt to qualify.
- Aleksandr Golovin, Russia, 22
Russia’s hopes of qualifying out of the group and having a host nation in the second round might rest on the shoulders of young midfielder Golovin. The CSKA Moscow man is a creative and intelligent player who can create chances for his teammates at will and still get his own goals. He has represented Russia 19 times in the past and he will be hoping to get more caps in his home country at the World Cup.
- Gabriel Jesus, Brazil, 21
Gabriel Jesus signed for Manchester City from Palmeiras in 2017 and he is already a regular at the English side with 20 goals in 39 appearances for Man City in the League. Jesus is also the starting striker for Brazil ahead of Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino and has scored 10 times for the national side. Jesus’ finishing, movement, versatility, and work-ethic stand out as his most important attributes.
- Andreas Christensen, Denmark, 22
Danish defender, Christensen had an outstanding campaign with Chelsea last season. Christensen signed for Chelsea at 15 and was loaned to Borussia Monchengladbach for a couple of years making over 82 appearances for the club before returning to Chelsea last year. Christensen is good on the ball and shows calmness on the ball for a player so young. He has also made 14 appearances for Denmark and that is likely to increase in the coming weeks.
- Thomas Lemar, France, 22
French midfielder Lemar started his career in Caen before moving to Monaco where he has made 90 league appearances. Lemar already has 12 appearances for France. He is a creative midfielder who loves to linkup with teammates rather than run with the ball, he is left footed and can occupy both the left or right flanks.
- Wilfred Ndidi, Nigeria, 21
Ndidi started his professional career with Genk in Belgium before signing with former English Champions Leicester in 2016. Ndidi plays as a defensive midfielder who possesses great athleticism all around the park. Ndidi has appeared for the Super Eagles 17 times and will likely be a key man in the midfield for the Nigerian team.
- Hirving Lozano, Mexico, 22
Chucky as he is affectionately called, Lozano is a star for the Mexican team and Eredivise side, PSV. He signed for PSV from Pachuca in Mexico in 2017 and has proven to be a massive hit in the Dutch League. It is unlikely Lozano will remain a PSV player especially if Mexico have a good World Cup in Russia. He plays primarily from the left wing and loves to cut into his stronger right foot to score goals. He has already made 26 appearances for Mexico and scoring seven goals in return.
- Davinson Sanchez, Colombia, 22
Tottenham Hotspur’s reliable centre-back Davinson Sanchez personally surprises me with his performance. He does not play his age – he plays like a more experienced player. He was bought by Tottenham from Ajax in 2017 and he had a fabulous first season with the London outfit, his pace and physical presence stands him out as a good defender.