A number of stars have shone at the 2022 World Cup and with the January window just around the corner, transfer speculation has started to swirl. It seems inevitable that several players will earn moves on the back of their eye-catching performances in Qatar over this past month.
But who are the players who will be on the radar of the biggest and richest clubs in the sport once the 2022 World Cup is over? Here are five who will almost certainly have suitors once the transfer window opens.
Jude Bellingham – England
Already considered one of the best young midfielders in the game before the 2022 World Cup, Jude Bellingham has only bolstered his reputation further in Qatar. Bellingham has added a different dimension to England’s midfield, stopping Gareth Southgate’s side from becoming too conservative in their approach.
Liverpool are believed to be long-term admirers of Bellingham with Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United and Real Madrid also reportedly monitoring the 19-year-old. Borussia Dortmund have a prize asset on their hands and it’s been suggested they won’t settle for less than €150m for him.
Denzel Dumfries – Netherlands
The Netherlands eased past the USA to make the quarter-finals of the 2022 World Cup and Denzel Dumfries was key to their 3-1 victory. Without Dumfries, Louis van Gaal’s team would be more predictable and easier to play against. The Inter wing-back gives the Netherlands an effective outlet down the right side.
Dumfries has been linked with Chelsea in the past, and now Manchester United is believed to be interested in signing the 26-year-old. Not only is Dumfries mobile and capable of getting up and down the wing for 90 minutes, he is renowned for his final product and carrying a goal threat inside the penalty area.
Cody Gakpo – Netherlands
Every World Cup has a breakout star, and Cody Gakpo has certainly used the tournament to boost his reputation, scoring three goals in four games for the Netherlands. Gakpo is the complete modern forward in that he is capable in possession play, can run in behind, is adept at running past opponents and is strong enough to hold himself against the most physical of defenders.
PSV Eindhoven reportedly wanted only €25m for Gakpo in the summer transfer window, but their asking price has surely grown since the start of the 2022 World Cup. Manchester United continue to be linked with the 23-year-old following the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The addition of the Dutch playmaker could address their deficiency up front.
Yunus Musah – USA
The USA might have exited the 2022 World Cup in the round of 16, but their midfield drew a lot of praise over the course of the tournament. Yunus Musah was an important part of that midfield unit, with the 20-year-old an energetic presence in the centre of the pitch and a key outlet for progressing possession.
Musah was ragged in some of his performances for the USA at the 2022 World Cup, but his potential was still clear. Chelsea and Liverpool have reportedly contacted Valencia to gauge the La Liga club’s asking price for the youngster and it’s feasible that more clubs could register their interest in the January transfer window.
Goncalo Ramos – Portugal
Fernando Santos made a bold call by dropping Ronaldo for Portugal’s round of 16 match against Switzerland, but his replacement Goncalo Ramos responded by scoring a hat trick in a 6-1 win. The 21-year-old has also scored 10 goals in 17 appearances for Benfica this season, adding to his reputation as one of the best young centre forwards in Europe.
Ramos has the physical ability to operate as a lone striker, but is capable of linking up with teammates around him. At 21 years and 169 days old, Ramos became the youngest player to score a World Cup hat trick and he could now be Portugal’s first-choice number nine for the remainder of the tournament.