The FIFA World Cup often provides footballers with a brilliant stage to make a name for themselves. The most recent examples would be the likes of Guillermo Ochoa or even James Rodriguez at the last World Cup. Ahead of the colossal event, both of them were good players but they became household names after the tournament in Brazil.
The Premier League is one of the most competitive leagues in the world and there is no shortage of talent there. With the mega event taking place in Russia this month, here are five Premier League players who could go to the next level at the end of the tournament.
Andreas Christensen finally had his breakthrough season at Chelsea, after spending years in the youth setup and two years on loan at Borrusia Monchengladbach. The Dane made 40 appearances for the Blues last season as he became an important first-team player.
Christensen was rested for the final few games of the season due to mental fatigue but the player must be raring to go to Russia and remind us all of his quality once again. He is an excellent defender and a solid presence at the back.
Victor Lindelof looked like the next big thing when he arrived at Manchester United last summer. Unfortunately for the Swede, he made quite a few errors in his first few games. However, he grew as the season progressed and he put in some fine performances.
Having appeared 29 times for the Red Devils last season, Lindelof will have a lot to prove in Russia. And it goes without saying that he will gain Mourinho’s trust and a place in the starting XI if he puts in a good show at the World Cup. A centre-back by trade, Lindelof has good distribution abilities and is a smart reader of the game.
Wilfried Ndidi has not looked back since arriving at Leicester City in January 2017. In not more than 18 months, Ndidi has established himself as a top defensive midfielder. The Nigerian midfielder is among the most consistent players at the King Power Stadium and has gained international recognition as well.
He is an old-school defensive midfielder and his ball-winning abilities will play a major part in Nigeria’s World Cup run.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek is another Chelsea academy graduate on this list but unlike Christensen, Loftus-Cheek has not had his breakthrough season at Stamford Bridge yet. But, he did have a stellar season on loan at Crystal Palace which earned him the England call-up.
He boasts of certain unique qualities that set him apart from his competitors. Loftus-Cheek is the ideal box-to-box midfielder and he boasts of incredible vision, creativity, technique and athletic prowess. If he receives adequate game time in Russia, the youngster will shine.
Kelechi Iheanacho has a big role to play for Nigeria. He has already scored 8 goals in 17 appearances for the Super Eagles and his goals will be key once again.
Iheanacho is a ‘fox in the box’ and he is quite clinical when the chances do come by. Having failed to break into the starting XI at Manchester City, Iheanacho moved to Leicester City.
Though his debut season with the Foxes wasn’t the greatest, the Nigerian picked up form in the latter stages of the season. There’s no better tournament than the World Cup to continue your goalscoring form, is there?