Three shining stars from the 2018 World Cup could see big moves this summer
Now that the World Cup is over, it is time for us to sit back and reflect on some notable standout performers. Some standout performers were familiar names such as; Harry Kane, Eden Hazard and Luka Modric. However, others weren’t so well-known, and such was the quality of their cameos that they will definitely see them on the target list of managers throughout Europe this summer and their values rise.
Russia’s golden boy truly took his stock to new heights at the 2018 World Cup. With an intimidating President and expectant Russian population watching, Aleksandr Golovin proceeded to carry his nation to the quarter-finals.
In a side that only averaged 39.4% possession across five tournament games, Golovin’s moments on the ball were far and few between, but exceptional. Therefore, the 22-year-old only had much fewer opportunities to shine on the ball than the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi. Unlike those two, Golovin carried his ‘average’ teammates to the business end of the competition.
In 402 minutes of World Cup football, the 22-year-old directly contributed to three goals (1G, 2A), averaged 1.5 key passes, 1.3 dribbles and 33.5 passes a game. It wasn’t only Golovin’s creative output that put him in a class of his own, his tireless work ethic spoke wonders too. The creative midfielder averaged 3.3 tackles a game, showing he has a work rate to accompany his world class ability. His £27million price tag before the World Cup will certainly now have been inflated, which is bad news for Chelsea and Arsenal.
Club: CSKA Moscow
Player role: playmaker
Strengths: passing, vision, creativity, tackling, dribbling, technique, versatility
Market value: 18M€
Similar type of player: Miralem Pjanic
Potential: 9/10 https://t.co/7HYbcUmP5n
There’s nothing quite like post-World Cup momentum. Ask James Rodriguez, he was granted the move of his dreams on the back of a phenomenal 2014 World Cup. Players can transform from average players into so-called world-class figures with a few decent performances at the tournament. For Jordan Pickford, he did more than put in a few decent performances.
Lest we forget, England’s ‘comfortable’ win over Sweden wouldn’t have been so routine if the 24-year-old didn’t make the world-class saves he did. England conceded seven goals in their World Cup, it would have been much more if Jordan Pickford (who stayed in goal for the whole tournament) didn’t average two saves a game. Even though Harry Kane emerged the tournament’s Golden Boot winner, it’s Pickford’s reputation has undergone the biggest improvement.
Of course, Jordan Pickford only just moved for £30million last summer from Sunderland to Everton, but when has a recent move ever stopped one of the big clubs from purchasing a player. Apart from Chelsea & Manchester United, Jordan Pickford would walk into any Premier League starting XI today.
Already rumoured to be moving to Barcelona, Hirving Lozano is currently on top of every top club’s wish list. After an electrifying season with PSV, in which he scored 17 goals and provided eight assists, Lozano topped it all off with a scintillating World Cup. The Mexican’s effervescent energy down the left flank caused teams havoc, especially Germany.
Mexico’s surprising win over the former World Cup winners was spearheaded by the PSV winger. In fact, it was his goal that in the 35th minute that cemented a famous victory in World Cup history for El Tri.
Against Germany in a sparkling performance, the 22-year-old completed four successful take-ons, created three chances and scored the winner. With that cameo, Lozano solidified his place amongst the most exciting youngsters in world football. Without Lozano averaging 3.5 dribbles a game, Mexico wouldn’t have even gotten near the Round of 16.