The World Cup as we all know is a quadrennial event which feeds in with an opportunity for the young stars to rise to stardom on the biggest stage. One can recall how James Rodriguez secured his move to the La Liga giants Real Madrid with his mouth watering display in the 2014 World Cup with Columbia pushing them to the quarter-finals.
As we count down the days to the 2018 World Cup in Russia, we have made a list of our top 7 picks of young talents poised to catch the eye and kick-start their carrier on a high.
1. Cristian Pavon, Argentina
Age: 22 Position: Forward
Beating the likes of Mauro Icardi for a place in Argentina’s National team, Pavon is a 5ft 6 inch tall striker who plays for Boca Juniors. Proficient at playing on either wings or even as a striker, the Boca Junior’s star possesses fascinating finishing skills and is nearly impossible to stop in the final third.
After establishing himself as one of the finest forwards in the primary division by leading his club to back to back league titles, Pavon did not fail to catch the eye when he supplied an assist to Aguero with the City player scoring the only goal of the game in the friendly against Russia.
After Alexis Sanchez’s departure, he has emerged as a potential target for The Gunners who are looking to replace the Chilean. His playing time for Argentina might be restricted to the likes of Messi and Aguero but he can make a huge difference after coming on from the bench.
2. Aleksandr Golovin, Russia
Age: 22 Position: Central Midfield
Golovin is a promising midfielder who brings in versatility within his game. He can be deployed as a deep-lying play-maker who also has the knack for going forward to assist in attack. His superb ball control and ability to control the tempo of the game makes him one of the brightest prospects for the Russian team. 2015-16 season proved to be his breakthrough for CSKA Moscow, where he made 23 appearances netting thrice.
https://t.co/a0i1RZzZfJ: Juventus and Arsenal target Aleksandr Golovin of CSKA Moscow is valued at least €25m by the Russian club. Clubs will be watching him closely in the World Cup. #Juve #AFC pic.twitter.com/i5GfltYLSJ
— TransferNewsCentral (@TransferNewsCen) June 12, 2018
His superb form has caught attraction from the likes of Arsenal and Juventus. He made his debut for the Russian international team in 2015 coming on as a substitute in the 61st minute and scoring 16 minutes later.
Russia find themselves in a tricky group alongside Uruguay and Egypt where Golovin will be looking forward to making headlines yet again.
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3. Achraf Hakimi, Morocco
Age: 21 Position: Full Back
Being only 19, Hakimi has already made 17 first team appearances for the La Liga giants Real Madrid. The absence of Carvajal turned out to be fortunate for the defender, who with his exceptional pace and attacking mentality has not failed to impress the manager nor the fans. Zidane was so highly impressed by the youngster that he let Danilo leave at the expense of this young Morocco full-back.
In May 2018, Hakimi made history by becoming the first Moroccan player to win the Champions League.
He made his debut for the national team in 2016, making 10 appearances since then scoring once. Could he make a difference for Morocco in the world cup? We’ll find out soon.
4. Sergej Milinkovic- Savic, Serbia
Age: 23 Position: Midfielder
Nicknamed “The Sergeant”, Savic is known for his physical presence in the midfield, he has won the most aerial duels in Serie A last season. He is also blessed with tremendous vision and an ability to go forward and score. Lazio shattered €9 million for his services in 2015 and no doubt he has been quite worth the money.
Having netted 12 times and assisted 8 in 35 appearances last season which is extraordinary being a midfielder, the Serbian has his eyes set on the World Cup now. Serbia will need something very special from their key man to navigate through a tough group consisting of Brazil, Costa Rica and Switzerland but certainly wont lack incentive.
His consistent knack of scoring has drawn attention from the likes of the mighty Manchester United who will be looking to bolster their squad.
5. Timo Werner, Germany
Age: 22 Position: Forward
Werner at 22 has become a cornerstone for both his club and country. He was signed by RB Leipzig in 2016 and the German has rewarded them by scoring 21 goals in 31 appearances.
— Bundesliga English (@Bundesliga_EN) July 2, 2017
Since the retirement of Miroslav Klose, Werner has appeared to be the perfect replacement to fill in his boots. He made his international debut in 2017 and soon after won the Golden Boot for Germany in the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia. With Germany aiming for a consecutive World Cup win, can he prove to be the focal point of Germany’s attack?
Former Germany forward Gerald Asamoah was quoted as saying on the young RB Leipzig forward:
“He’s a strong finisher, very fast, can get in behind defences and create spaces in deep-lying positions; Timo Werner is just very, very good”
6. Hirving Lozano, Mexico
Age : 22 Position : Winger
Nicknamed as “Chucky” for striking fear into the opposition defence, Lozano is a 5ft 7inch winger who plays for PSV and the Mexico national team. Arriving in 2017 he became the top scorer for his club scoring 17 goals in just 29 games leading them to the league title.
Hirving Lozano manages to beat his man twice to put in a dangerous ball that should have been a goal pic.twitter.com/TuqPclepMz
— Fito ? (@VaIenziaga) June 4, 2018
Having made his international debut in 2016 the young mexican has 7 goals in 26 appearances. He possesses a strong right foot and has the ability to drift in dangerous crosses from the flank.
— LOZANO STATS ?? (@LozanoStats) February 17, 2018
Lozano has been accused on numerous occasions for his fierce reactions and aggressive behaviour on the field. Mexico start their campaign with a tricky fixture against Germany on 17th June. Can he keep his cool and be the man they turn to?
Honorable Mentions : Leon Goretzka(Germany), Goncalo Guedes (Portugal), Lucas Torreira(Italy), Alvaro Odriozola(Spain)
Keep visiting Arsedevils for more updates and news on the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 Russia