League football has returned, and so too will the whispers and rumours that come with the January transfer window!
Tournament football is the perfect opportunity for players to showcase their skills on the world stage. So, which players will have their names on the radar of the biggest clubs in football?
1. Enzo Fernández
When you become a world champion, your profile is going to rise, and so too is the sum that clubs will be expected to part with.
Benfica’s 21-year-old midfielder had an outstanding competition, so much so, the Argentine was awarded Young Player of the Tournament.
He came on from the bench against Mexico and scored an exquisite goal, curling the ball beyond Guillermo Ochoa. His performance warranted a starting position in Argentina’s final group game against Poland.
Displaying his repertoire of attributes, he turned provider in this fixture, helping his side to a vital 2-0 win. With his situation being monitored by several clubs, we can expect that his agent will be very busy this window.
2. Alexis Mac Allister
Another Argentinian international who excelled in this competition is a name Brighton fans will be accustomed with.
Premier League proven, and now owner of one of the most prestigious accolades in football, could the midfielder be on the move?
Mac Allister found the net in a crucial group game, but what he’ll be remembered for is playing a pivotal role in a major final.
Exemplifying vision and flawless weight on the pass, Mac Allister’s assist for Ángel Di María was a thing of beauty. It encapsulated his quality and could be the catalyst for clubs to test Brighton’s resolve.
3. Sofyan Amrabat
Walid Regragui’s men found themselves in a group with Belgium and Croatia, and then shocked the world by topping it. Not only that, but they also progressed to the knockout stage without losing a game, their defensive qualities embodied by one man in particular.
Fiorentina’s defensive midfielder was instrumental in Morocco’s ability to prevent normally potent attackers. With his combative nature in the middle of the park, he was part of a side that surpassed expectation when shutting out Spain and Portugal.
Justifying the plaudits from football fans all over, the 26-year-old is surely going to be a target for any side wishing to galvanise their midfield. It’s believed that Jürgen Klopp is an admirer and he could soon be wearing the red shirt of Liverpool.
4. Azzedine Ounahi
Flamboyance coupled with composure, Azzedine Ounahi lit up the competition with a string of brilliant individual performances. The masterful midfielder helped his side make history by being the first African side reach to the semi-finals.
There’s sure to be a long list of clubs vying for the 22-year-old’s signature, including big names from the Premier League in Newcastle, Leeds and Leicester. Interest in Angers’ man extends beyond England – Juventus and Barcelona are also said to be involved.
Morocco were unable to get past France in the semi-final, but they did reach the third-place play-off. They faced off with Croatia who had their own key performers.
5. Dominik Livaković
The Croatian shot stopper recorded the most saves of the tournament with 24. But it’ll be his penalty heroics that will have top clubs on high alert. Demonstrating his class, Dinamo Zagreb’s number one saved three penalties in their knockout shootout with Japan.
In the quarter-final with Brazil, Livaković again showed his impressive reflexes when saving Rodrygo’s spot kick. Manchester United, Ajax and Juventus are allegedly keeping tabs on the 27-year-old.
6. Joško Gvardiol
At the heart of Croatia’s defence is the supremely talented Joško Gvardiol. He was responsible for 37 clearances in the competition, the most of any defender.
He’s only 20 years of age, but this is a centre back that plays beyond his years. Commanding in both areas, he scored a strong header against Morocco to help his side finish third.
7. Cody Gakpo
A familiar name from the Summer transfer window, PSV’s attacker was the Netherlands’ star man with three goals to his name.
Formerly heavily linked with Manchester United and Leeds, the Dutch attacker’s value will now likely have increased, as too will his potential suitors. Newcastle United, Arsenal and West Ham have apparently joined the race to land Gakpo. In what might have come as a surprise to football fans, Gakpo’s arrival at Liverpool is rumoured to be imminent.
8. Yunus Musah
Part of the midfield trio for the USA dubbed “MMA”, Yunus Musah typifies what a box-to-box midfielder is. The 20-year-old operates with bags of stamina and won’t shy out of a tackle.
Managers who want to inject tenacious energy into their midfield will reportedly have to pay Valencia around €25.5 million. In today’s market, that seems a bargain and might attract plenty of interest. Danny Murphy has said that Chelsea or Tottenham Hotspur should sign him.
9. Mohammed Kudus
In Group H we had Portugal and Ghana, each of which had a talented youngster that might have done enough to warrant a move.
The Ghanian has already proved he can perform in the Champions League, he’s now shown he can do it at international level with a brace against South Korea. Is this young star bound for Manchester United? Or will Frank Lampard convince him to join Everton?
10. Gonçalo Ramos
Sharing a group and a portion of the limelight was the 21-year-old forward from Benfica. Headlines were made when he was favoured over Cristiano Ronaldo, but bigger headlines were made when he scored a hattrick against Switzerland.
Whoever is in the market for a striker this Winter could soon be contacting Benfica. Manchester United, Arsenal and Southampton are keen to acquire Ramos’ services.
When does the January Transfer Window Open?
For clubs in England and Scotland, the January transfer window opens on the 1st of January. This is the same for Ligue 1 and the Bundesliga, whilst La Liga and Serie A can do business as of the 2nd of January. The window will close for Europe’s top 5 leagues on the final day of January.
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JD Football | November 21, 2023