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XI World Cup 2022 stars whose performance may have earned them a January transfer

Who has impressed enough to encourage clubs to splash the cash

Every World Cup throws up major transfers in the immediate aftermath. Think James Rodriguez in 2014, Mesut Ozil in 2010, or Gilberto Silva in 2002, all of whom impressed clubs enough to take a risk on them.

While it isn’t always successful (as Rodriguez’s case proves), it doesn’t stop plenty of players using their red hot tournament form to grab a bigger move, and we should expect 2022 to be no different, not least because the winter transfer window immediately follows the tournament.

With that in mind, we took a look at 11 players we think could be on the move this winter courtesy of their impressive outings this tournament.

1. Denzel Dumfries (Netherlands)

For the second consecutive tournament, Dutch wing-back Denzel Dumfries could earn himself a big move off the back of another top international tournament.

Following an excellent Euro2020, Dumfries made the move to Inter Milan, and eighteen months later he has once again shone on the world stage, prompting speculation that he could move away from San Siro this winter.

Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham are all reportedly keen on making a move for the Inter defender, who has grabbed one goal and three assists on his side’s run to the quarter-final of the competition. With Inter Milan having failed to make a major sale over the summer, they could be open to selling, with a rumoured price tag of around £40m for the 26-year-old.

2. Enzo Fernandez (Argentina)

Real Madrid are reportedly one of those sides interested in the midfielder, who has a release clause set at 120m euros with current club Benfica, while Liverpool have also been credited with an interest in the past too. One of several top-end midfielders likely on the move this summer, interest is sure to ramp up in the coming months, and getting in early wouldn’t be a bad idea.

3. Sofyan Amrabat (Morocco)

Another man whose value seems to be skyrocketing with every passing game, Amrabat is a key part of the history-making Atlas Lions and, though currently at Fiorentina, may not be with La Viola for too much longer.

This comes with interest aplenty from around Europe in the tough-tackling Moroccan midfielder, with both Liverpool and Tottenham linked with the 26-year-old. Free to leave for a fee above around 30m euros, he could be Premier League bound when the winter window opens.

4. Goncalo Ramos (Portugal)

Another Benfica starlet and one that, unlike Fernandez, could leave in January, Goncalo Ramos underlined his talent with a hat-trick on his full World Cup debut. He had previously been catching the eye with his club form, with the 21-year-old having netted nine times in 11 outings in the Portuguese top flight this campaign, but with Manchester United on the hunt for a striker he has put himself firmly in the shop window with his World Cup performance.

5. Adrien Rabiot (France)

Close to a move to Manchester United in the summer, Rabiot is out of contract in the summer and with Juventus in financial trouble, this winter represents the final opportunity for the Turin side to get any sort of fee for the Frenchman.

He has impressed in the centre of midfield for France, and has spoken in no uncertain terms about his desire to play Premier League football, making the 27-year-old one to keep a close eye on this transfer window.

6. Yunus Musah (USA)

Still just 20 years old, Musah caught the eye despite his tender years during the USA’s run to the World Cup round of 16, particularly starring against England in their group-stage clash.

The former Arsenal academy starlet, now at Valencia, has a host of clubs interested in his services this January and, due to the Spanish clubs’ financial issues, is available for as little as 20m euros, despite being under a long-term contract.

Seemingly almost certain to leave either this January or in the summer, he would be a shrewd pickup for plenty of sides.

7. Mohammed Kudus (Ghana)

Denied a deadline day move to Everton last summer, we think Kudus may have his sights set a little higher this time around. The Ghana and Ajax attacker is still only 20 years old but impressed in their Champions League group stage run as well as on the international stage, grabbing two goals in the Black Stars group stage games.

A skilful attacker, he has been linked with moves to Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur, and could well be a player on the move before the January window closes.

8. Joao Felix (Portugal)

Felix’s performances for Portugal and Atletico Madrid are night and day, and it seems certain that the Portuguese attacker will be on the move this year, with all parties keen for an exit.

Linked with a host of clubs including Arsenal, Manchester United, Chelsea and Aston Villa, he won’t be a cheap addition for any side in January, but could nonetheless be one on the move if anyone can stump up the cash.

9. Azzedine Ounahi (Morocco)

Despite currently sitting bottom of Ligue 1, Angers could be set to net a significant transfer fee this January through Azzedine Ounahi, who has been exceptional alongside Sofyan Amrabat in Morocco’s midfield this tournament.

Still just 22 years old, he has even been linked with a move to Barcelona, and even should that move not materialise, he is certain to have suitors.

10. Cody Gakpo (Netherlands)

Last but not least, we have Cody Gakpo, who seems the man most likely to complete a January move amid interest from Manchester United and Real Madrid.

The 23-year-old scored three times in three group games for the Netherlands, adding to his burgeoning reputation after a move to the Red Devils broke down in the summer. Domestically, he has been excellent too, scoring nine goals and grabbing 12 assists in 14 outings in the Eredivisie.

Strongly linked with the Red Devils, his price tag will be high this January, but PSV could look to cash in on their star man while his name is on everyone’s lips.

11. Josip Juranovic

Celtic have already prepared for the departure of Juranovic by signing a replacement, but his performances over the World Cup will only have produced more admirers for the 27-year-old.

He has turned in several impressive performances on his way to a World Cup semi-final, including against Vinicius Jr in the quarter final, and is likely to net Celtic a tidy fee when he moves on this January.


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Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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