4 young players to keep an eye on at the Qatar World Cup

England's Phil Foden (left) and Bukayo Saka (center) could hold their coming-out parties at the World Cup. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
England's Phil Foden (left) and Bukayo Saka (center) could hold their coming-out parties at the World Cup. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
World Cup
Spain’s young sensation Gavi will be one to watch out for in the upcoming World Cup. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images) /

The FIFA World Cup is less than six months away as the footballing world gears up for the biggest party of the year in Qatar. It’s not too early to start salivating over the thrilling encounters guaranteed to take place from Nov. 21 onwards.

Defending champions France head into the competition as a favorite due to their extremely strong squad. Brazil, England and Argentina are also among the favorites to lift the trophy in Qatar. Some of the world’s best players will take part in this illustrious competition, and it’ll be a dream come true for many youngsters.

Several young footballers will experience their World Cup debut and some national teams would be foolish not to feature these irresistible, multi-talented youngsters.

There are some lads well capable of turning the tide in their side’s favor, perhaps even helping their team go all the way. So let’s look at four young players to watch out for in the World Cup.

Phil Foden to light up the World Cup?

Phil Foden has already achieved so much at the age of 22: Four Premier League titles with Man City as well as seven other trophies. But Foden will be making his FIFA World Cup debut in Qatar and a lot of eyes will be on him.

Foden was exceptional in England’s FIFA U-17 World Cup win in 2017, claiming the Golden Ball award. He’s already made 15 appearances for England, but will want to reserve his best for the World Cup. Foden’s versatility in attack mixed with his unpredictable skillset makes him an asset for the Three Lions.

His movement, dribbling ability, creativity and finishing skills mean he can be England’s “ace in the hole” in the attacking areas. Foden’s irresistible style makes him a major threat for the Three Lions and he can carry them well forward in the tournament if able to find his groove.

Is Gavi Spain’s secret weapon?

At just 17, Gavi has already written a great personal history for Spain. He is La Roja’s youngest-ever player and the youngest to score a goal and the teenager is showing no signs of stopping. He’s only going to get better.

Spain boss Luis Enrique holds him as a key member of his squad, meaning Gavi is guaranteed to be a regular in World Cup games. The 17-year-old can play virtually any role in midfield, as well as in forward areas. His creativity, passing ability and pressing style make him very difficult to play against.

Despite his callow age, Gavi is a key part of the Spain team and often dictates how they play while also creating attacks. He’ll be playing in his first World Cup in Qatar and Gavi’s impressive maturity means he shouldn’t take much time to adapt to the top level for Spain.

Giovanni Reyna eager to make mark for Team USA

The U.S. Men’s national football team have been placed in a relatively challenging group in the World Cup, with Wales and England in their way. They’ll need to produce some special performances to get past the group stage and need their players to shine. One player to keep an eye on is youngster Giovanni Reyna.

The 19-year-old Borussia Dortmund winger has been a marvel for the Bundesliga side and has also been fast-tracked into the senior team. In 12 games for the USA, the winger has scored four goals. Reyna’s pace and dribbling ability make him a real joy to watch.

Moreover, he is also deft with finishing chances from close range and is prolific in the final third with his final delivery as well. The 19-year-old will look to make a name for himself in Qatar and showcase his ultimate potential where it matters the most.

Bukayo Saka chomping at the bit for England

England have a number of quality youngsters ready to light up the World Cup. One player that seems to have Gareth Southgate’s confidence is Bukayo Saka. The Arsenal winger has been a revelation since his gutting penalty miss in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.

The 20-year-old scored 12 goals and registered seven assists in 38 Premier League appearances for the Gunners last season and was one of the league’s most exciting youngsters to watch. Saka’s quick movement, brilliant dribbling ability, and tendency to cut in from the right-wing makes him a dangerous and exciting player.

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The Arsenal star can play in a variety of positions and is defensively secure too, making him a prime option for Southgate. Saka will have something to prove in the World Cup and play with fire in his belly, which can make him a terror for defenders.