As the 2022 World Cup nears its end, some eyes are already moving back to club football.
After Brazil, the Netherlands, and other top countries were eliminated in the quarterfinals, supporters will be watching to see players perform when the season resumes.
Here’s a look at some star performers whose profile has risen just in time for the January transfer window for Europe’s major leagues.
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Cody Gakpo – Netherlands
Gakpo was linked to several Premier League teams recently, with Manchester United leading the chase for the PSV attacker.
Leeds United was also said to be interested, but they are definitely out of the race now that Gakpo has performed for the Netherlands, finishing as his team’s top scorer in Qatar with three goals.
United are now developing under Erik ten Hag, who is looking for a successor for Cristiano Ronaldo to help their battle over the top in the race for a top-four berth.
Jude Bellingham – England and BVB
England was eliminated from a major tournament for the second time in three years, but it was not due to the performance of their explosive young midfielder.
Bellingham has been developing for a while, so his success in Qatar was hardly surprising. However, he demonstrated his worth as the English midfield’s future.
With his innate feel for the game at such a young age, Bellingham is already generating parallels to some of England’s all-time greats.
He is at the heart of everything the Three Lions aim to accomplish, whether tracking back to help double-team tricky wingers, beginning a counterattack, or making a late dash into the box to fire home a cross.
At 19, a transfer from German club Borussia Dortmund to one of the wealthiest teams in the Premier League is possible.
Yassine Bounou – Morocco and Sevilla
Nobody has made an impression on this stage or endeared himself to fans like the cheerful, Montreal-born Moroccan goalie.
The player “Bono” has done well for Sevilla for many years, but his recent exploits for the Atlas Lions will make him a target for top European sides.
Morocco owes this man’s progress to the semifinals in every way, and whether they progress or fall to France in their clash, the team has delivered.
The Atlas Lions are the underdogs going into the Wednesday match, but there will be plenty to play for, with The Score offering multiple markets for every action in Qatar and so much more.
Josko Gvardiol – Croatia and RB Leipzig
Gvardiol is a Bundesliga star who played at the World Cup with a stellar reputation to grow and become better.
Following Zlatko Dalic’s side’s progress to a second consecutive semifinal, there has been a lot of emphasis on Croatia’s surviving veterans. Still, Gvardiol is the shining star of the new generation.
He appears poised to be a fixture for the next decade as a left-footed central defender who plays with grace and maturity beyond his 20 years. Chelsea has been mentioned as a possible destination, but there will be some bidding war. Expect Gvardiol to make big money to move to another club this January.