Top five players NOT to sign following the 2022 FIFA World Cup
Following the conclusion of a World Cup, we often see players earn a big move based on their performances at the tournament. However, a player who has an excellent World Cup individually, may not translate that form into club football following a new transfer. See James Rodriguez following the 2014 FIFA World Cup and Eden Hazard after the 2018 FIFA World Cup as prime examples.
Following the conclusion of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, we’ve listed five players who should not be signed purely off the back of good performances across the tournament.
Whilst Neymar missed a chunk of the 2022 FIFA World Cup due to injury, the games he did play saw him make a big impact. All three matches that Neymar started led to him scoring on each occasion and he remains a talisman in Brazil’s side. However, it’s important to note that two of those three goals came from the penalty spot.
Neymar plays for French giants PSG, but has been consistently linked with a move back to Spain. At 30-years-old though, the Brazilian is not getting any younger and may not have the impact that a club would ideally want.
Striker Alvaro Morata found the net in all three of Spain’s group games across the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Such potency on one of football’s biggest stages will naturally see the Madrid-born forward court interest going forward, although whether parent club Atletico would be willing to sell is another matter entirely.
However, Morata has struggled at times to find that goalscoring consistency in club football and has not managed to score 15 league goals since the 2016/17 season. Like Neymar, Morata has also now hit 30 years of age and is probably best of staying where he is in Madrid.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup provided something of a renaissance for former Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny. The Polish stopper stood out as one of the best keepers of the tournament, whilst Poland remained in the competition. Szczesny kept two clean sheets and saved two penalties across the group stage from Salem Al Dawsari of Saudi Arabia and Argentina’s Lionel Messi, which ultimately proved crucial in helping Poland advance to the knockout stage.
The 32-year-old is another player though, who has struggled to maintain consistency between the sticks. Having played for Juventus since 2017, Szczesny has never once been named in the ‘Serie A Team of the Year’ despite winning three Serie A titles. Those clubs looking for a new goalkeeper would probably be wiser to invest in a player such as Croatia’s Dominik Livakovic.
Wout Weghorst wasn’t a starting player for Netherlands, but his moment in the sun duly arrived in the quarter-final stage. Coming off the bench with his side 2-0 down, Weghorst inspired a Dutch comeback, scoring twice as Louis van Gaal’s side pulled the score back to 2-2 in dramatic fashion, forcing extra time and eventually penalties. Whilst Netherlands ultimately ended up on the losing side, Weghorst’s contribution to their cause was enormous.
Weghorst’s club career hasn’t panned out the way in which he would have wanted after joining Burnley from Wolfsburg in January 2022. The Clarets have since been relegated and Weghorst farmed out to Turkish side Besiktas on loan this past summer. With Weghorst unlikely to have any long-term future with his parent club, a future transfer should be in the offing. But it would be a huge risk to sign Weghorst on the back of one game-changing performance.
Interest will understandably be extremely high in the 21-year-old Portuguese prodigy, who announced himself on the world stage in some style, scoring a hat-trick in Portugal’s 6-1 thrashing of Switzerland. Such a performance led Ramos to keep his place for his country’s quarter-final clash with Morocco, which unfortunately for him saw Portugal knocked out by a goal to nil.
Ramos’ young age will see him become the subject of huge transfer speculation heading into January. However, when taking into account the huge fee that parent club Benfica will demand for him, it may be smarter for the giant clunbs within Europe to hold fire on Ramos for now and see if he can maintain his excellent form for club and country.