Ahead of the World Cup, there is always an influx of transfers featuring players who are on the fringes of their national teams and want to secure a roster spot for the tournament. Many players who sit on the bench for bigger clubs and get limited minutes desperately need quality playing time to be noticed by their national team managers. With so many rumors and confirmed deals happening every day, let's take a look at 10 players who need a transfer ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
10 Players Who Need Transfers Ahead Of 2022 World Cup
Netherlands: Steven Bergwijn
For Steven Bergwijn, earning a move away from Spurs is crucial if he wants to continue starting for the Dutch national team. Holland has a great batch of attacking talent such as Denzel Dumfries, Steven Berghuis and most notably Memphis Depay. Bergwijn has shown his class, scoring six goals in 21 games for the Netherlands, but at Spurs, he has been reduced to a late-game substitute and rarely starts. A player of his class and ability needs solid playing time, and occasional contributions will not cut it for the Dutch national team.
In recent days, Bergwijn has been linked with a move to Ajax as a replacement for Sébastian Haller, but it has not been made official yet. If it goes through, this transfer may just help Bergwijn establish himself as a starter when the Dutch take on Senegal in November.
- @MikeVerweij: "The chances of Steven Bergwijn arriving at Ajax are now extremely big. The fans will have to be a little more patient (most likely after the 1st of July), but I dare to say with almost guaranteed certainty that he will join Ajax." pic.twitter.com/rSV9On3JZO— (@TheEuropeanLad) June 22, 2022
England: Jadon Sancho
For England, the young crop of talented attacking options is a great problem to have. For the players, however, it means there are few guarantees for is who is going to the tournament. Through the middle, Harry Kane and Tammy Abraham have good odds of traveling, but on the wings, it is anyone’s guess. With the likes of Jack Grealish, Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling, it seems like Jadon Sancho may be hard-pressed to find his way onto the roster.
It's been no secret that Sancho has struggled since joining Manchester United, and with the World Cup so close, it may not be worth the gamble of staying to see how life under Erik Ten Hag will be. A loan deal could get him some good playing time, playing with confidence and back to the top of Gareth Southgate’s team sheet.
Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford's chances of making England's World Cup squad don't sound too promising pic.twitter.com/5a6iY9Txi8— GOAL (@goal) June 13, 2022
United States: Any Of The Goalkeepers
The USMNT has a generation of incredible talent, but a few positions are seemingly up for grabs. Gregg Berhalter has struggled to find a definitive central forward capable of consistently contributing goals, and as a result, many of those players would appreciate a new opportunity to impress the boss at a new club. On the opposite end of the pitch, the goalkeepers are all in a similar situation, where it feels like any of the three would benefit from a loan or transfer to get some playing time.
For this upcoming season, Zack Steffen will be backing up Ederson at Manchester City, Matt Turner will be competing for minutes with Aaron Ramsdale at Arsenal and Ethan Horvath will most likely be a backup again with newly promoted Nottingham Forest. At the same time, Sean Johnson will start regularly for NYCFC in the MLS. With a move away for this upcoming season, Berhalter would be much more willing to start any of the first three, but if they stay put, Johnson is in the perfect position to take the starting job for himself.
Which 3️⃣ USMNT goalkeepers would you take to the FIFA World Cup? pic.twitter.com/ndivRX7RzV— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 17, 2022
Argentina: Paulo Dybala
Paulo Dybala may be a surprising name on this list, but with the attacking talent Argentina currently boasts, his inclusion in Qatar is nowhere near guaranteed. At the 2018 World Cup in Russia, Dybala was an unused substitute in three of Argentina’s four games, only coming on for the last 20 minutes in the second group-stage match. Back then, he sat behind the likes of Lionel Messi, Sergio Agüero and Gonzalo Higuaín, and while Messi is still present, Ángel Di María and Lautaro Martínez have become the starters instead of Dybala.
During this time, Dybala has been playing for Juventus in Serie A, showing flashes of brilliance but ultimately not fulfilling the potential many had for him. With injuries setting him back often, consistent playing time has been difficult for the Argentine, leading to the situation this year where Dybala has been allowed to leave the club in search of new pastures. While his destination remains uncertain, one thing is for sure: If Dybala can shine at his new club and find his form again, he has every chance of being picked for the World Cup.
Paulo Dybala: “I don’t feel like I am in the Argentina team for the World Cup”. https://t.co/sppCaSpsw7— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) June 2, 2022
Mexico: Orbelín Pineda
The Mexican national team is undergoing a bit of redevelopment at the moment. While Hirving Lozano takes most of the spotlight, many of the other spots on the plane to Qatar are very much open. The majority of Mexico’s national team currently plays in Liga MX, with only a handful playing outside of Mexico. One such player is Orbelín Pineda, a 26-year-old midfielder who joined Celta de Vigo in the Spanish first division roughly six months ago.
Since then, he has only made seven appearances as a substitute and never for more than 30 minutes. For the national team, it has been much of the same. He’s been a consistent name on the roster but only makes short appearances here and there. While playing overseas is impressive, if he is struggling to find any field time, a successful loan move away would help his chances of being selected.
What will Orbelín Pineda do? The #Chivas are desperate to bring him back to #LigaMX but he is reluctant to give up on his European dream.#ElTriEng #LigaMXEng @chivasdelnorte @ChivasEN_ @miseleccionmxEN https://t.co/IXEVXfu2sP— Thomas M. Buckley (@TomBuckley519) June 22, 2022
France: Alphonse Areola
In terms of obvious decisions, this one seems to be top of the list. Areola spent this past season on loan at West Ham, where he made one appearance in the Premier League. He is set to rejoin PSG at the end of his loan, where he would be behind both Gianluigi Donnarumma and Keylor Navas. At the national level, he competes for the starting spot with Spurs shot-stopper Hugo Lloris and Serie A champion Mike Maignan of AC Milan. If Areola wants any hope of being picked, he needs to avoid being a backup immediately.
At the moment, both West Ham and Newcastle United have been interested, but nothing official has been announced. Newcastle could be a good opportunity for him as he looks to nail down a starting spot, but if it is West Ham that comes calling, Areola should be skeptical because if this season is just a repeat of the last, it could cost him a spot in Qatar.
RMC SPORT | Newcastle have entered talks to sign Alphonse Areola from PSG.West Ham have until June 30 to exercise the €9m buy-out clause in the keeper’s loan deal. #Transfers #NUFC pic.twitter.com/MWJhTeYmc8
— ᴍᴏʜᴀᴍᴇᴅ ✍️ (@RMBlanco14) June 16, 2022
Spain: Marco Asensio
Marco Asensio’s time at Real Madrid has been immensely successful, winning three Champions League titles, three LaLiga titles and a host of other trophies. At a young age, he showed tremendous promise, but injuries have taken their toll as he's gotten older. This season under Carlo Ancelotti, the 26-year-old played less than he would probably like and struggled to break into the first team consistently. He finished the season with 10 goals in 31 games while only playing limited minutes, showing he can make an impact when he is on the pitch.
At the national level, Asensio’s field time has also been difficult to come by, as he competes for time with Pablo Sarabia, Ferran Torres, Ansu Fati and Dani Olmo. Asensio has the quality to stay at Real Madrid and earn a starting spot. However, if life under Ancelotti continues as it has been, Asensio may be considered surplus to requirement by Spanish head coach Luis Enrique.
Liverpool and AC Milan are both interested in signing Marco Asensio.The player wants to join a project that guarantees him a starting spot and that won't be the case at Liverpool.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 21, 2022
Germany: Benjamin Henrichs
Die Mannschaft is a well-oiled machine with very few loose bolts. German manager Hansi Flick seems to have a firm grasp on who his World Cup roster will consist of, even this far out from the tournament, but he will have some decisions to make regarding who to pick at right-back. Several players can play the position, but one who has flown under the radar is Benjamin Henrichs.
The 25-year-old finished this season with three goals and three assists for RB Leipzig but still has not become a regular feature for the club. For Germany, he shares minutes with Lukas Klostermann at right-back but is starting to be left behind, only featuring in one of Germany’s four games this summer, with Klostermann preferred in the rest. Henrichs will most likely be safe as a second-choice right back, but without sufficient playing time, he may miss out. A loan or transfer away from Leipzig could be just what the young German needs to attract enough attention as he aims to become Die Mannschaft’s next right back.
Benjamin Henrichs: Surprisingly he was in the starting XI but didn't take his chance. Couldn't set any accents either offensively or defensively. He obviously lacks the quality to shine on the big stage (SPORT1-Note 4). Jonas Hofmann is likely to play again against England.— Bayern Munich English & Die Manschaft (@altaeeameer11) June 6, 2022
When it comes to stacked attacking options, Brazil pretty much takes the cake. With Neymar, Vinícius Jr and Gabriel Jesus leading the lines up front, Raphinha will most likely be competing with the likes of Coutinho, Rodrygo and Richarlison for a backup role in Qatar. The 25-year-old has nine national team appearances and has a fantastic return of three goals, including a brace against Uruguay.
Raphinha has impressed during his time at Leeds United, scoring 11 goals this past campaign, but if he wants to make the step to the next level, he needs to show that he can do it in a top team. Recently there have been offers made by FC Barcelona, Arsenal and Spurs, but it seems Leeds United does not want to let go of its top scorer so easily. If he does complete a move away from Elland Road, the Seleção may just come calling next.
Leeds United have been pretty clear with all clubs interested in Raphinha: he can leave but they want at least £65m fee. #LUFCArsenal after first bid rejected, Spurs after new direct talks, Chelsea after contact through Boehly… and Barça via Deco, got the same message. pic.twitter.com/DXKcNY0Rq5
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 22, 2022
Portugal: João Félix
Portugal has enough world-class attacking options to make your head spin. Bruno Fernandes, Bernardo Silva and Diogo Jota, not to mention Cristiano Ronaldo. João Félix is immensely talented and has youth on his side, but that may not be enough for the 22-year-old. In his favored forward position, Félix has plenty of direct competition with players like Rafael Leão, the aforementioned Diogo Jota and Andre Silva.
This season, Leão won Serie A with AC Milan and finished the season with double-digit goals and assists in the league. Jota bagged 21 goals in all competitions for Liverpool as he became the Reds’ main striker. At RB Leipzig, Andre Silva has been successful, but has often split time with Yussuf Poulsen and Christopher Nkunku. For Félix, he desperately needs to get out of Atlético Madrid. It is a great club, but he does not fit into Diego Simeone's play style, resulting in him sitting on the bench far too much for someone of his age and skill level. To make the World Cup squad, playing time is a necessity, and Félix may be better off playing elsewhere to achieve that goal.
João Félix has been offered to several top European clubs including PSG.Atletico Madrid are not against selling the player and his agent has been in talks with clubs.
— Transfer News Live (@DeadlineDayLive) June 21, 2022