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Top 5 Arsenal players to watch in the FIFA 2022 World Cup
Arsenal's first-team squad has been highly successful in the 2022/23 Premier League season. It is a good momentum heading into the World Cup for players representing their national teams.
With the 2022 World Cup fast approaching, national teams are gearing up for long runs at the event. As one of the biggest clubs in the world, Arsenal has its fair share of players who will represent their countries at the World Cup.
Let's look at some of the club's most prominent players at the World Cup and how they will fare on the biggest stage in soccer.
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Bukayo Saka (England)
Even at an early age, Bukayo Saka has always been on England's radar. He started in the Arsenal academy, and scouts have always primed him to be part of the English national team. Now that he has grown older and fully developed, Saka has earned many international caps for the Three Lions.
Saka is an amazing talent that can fit various roles, but he mostly shines as a right-winger. This switchblade ability makes him a great player because he is versatile and thrives in any role that people give him. Most will remember that he performed well in the 2020 European Championships, even if some will only look at his penalty-kick miss in the final against Italy.
For Arsenal, he has been recognised as the star player, and it will only take a short while for that to happen in the England national team. He proved that he could work well with England. Now that he has his reps, he will be vital to their long-term future.
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William Saliba (France)
Saliba broke out during the 2021/22 Ligue 1 season when he was out on loan at Marseille. He was named Ligue 1 Player of the Year for his campaign at Marseille, which prompted him to request a return to Arsenal. It paid off because Saliba has been one of the club's best players since the start of the 2022/23 season.
Since he will be playing for the French national team, Saliba will be accompanied by some fantastic defenders. His biggest partner will be Manchester United stalwart Raphaël Varane. Saliba can learn many lessons from Varane, one of the world's most successful and talented defenders.
Saliba might be the best choice for you if you're looking for a promising centre-back who will be around for the long haul for both club and country. Not only can he be physically imposing as a defender, but his quick reflexes and strong scoring power make him a strong and well-rounded player. Even though Saliba only has a few caps under his belt, he is still on the run to unleash his full potential.
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Gabriel Jesus (Brazil)
At the 2022 World Cup, there is a near-consensus that Brazil is the favourite to win the trophy for the sixth time. Gabriel Jesus is a large part of that because Brazil's main strength is their firepower, and Jesus will serve as their primary striker. He is a bit on the smaller side, but Jesus knows how to position himself and has enough power to score some fantastic goals.
Jesus works well with almost any playmaker, but with the likes of Neymar Jr. and Lucas Paquetá on the team, Jesus will have a fun time because he will receive precise passes. All he needs to do is capitalise and move well off the ball.
Since he joined Arsenal in 2022, he has been stellar for the club because he knows his role as a pure striker. That is what he will play for Brazil, too, which bodes well for him because he already has his reps in and has the momentum to carry over to the World Cup.
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Gabriel Magalhães (Brazil)
Brazil is well known for its forwards and flashy dribbling, but it can produce some fantastic defenders. Their current lineage has Gabriel Magalhães serving as their new big star centre-back. He is a physically-imposing player that knows how to move his body well and can jump for header battles.
Aside from his defensive qualities, Gabriel is one of the most underrated skilful centre-backs. Since he is from Brazil, it has been ingrained in their culture that knowing how to dribble is necessary. That translated well for Gabriel because he is a reliable dribbler and knows when and where to pass the ball when needed.
Gabriel has been solid for Arsenal and wants to showcase that stability and strength for his homeland. Brazil is such a strong country, and it should not be surprising that two Brazilians made this list.
Thomas Partey (Ghana)
As one of the biggest underdogs of the World Cup, Ghana will be an exciting team to watch. It is largely due to their solid cast of players headlined by Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey. The Ghanian has been crucial to Arsenal's success since he moved to North London from Atlético Madrid.
Partey should be a strong player to watch at the World Cup because not only does he do well as a contributor to the offence with his passes, but he is also a strong defender. He is known as a box-to-box midfielder for his clubs, which has paid off well for his national team stint.
Observe Partey at the World Cup because Ghana is relying on him to perform at his peak level, and seeing the midfielder perform like that will be a treat to witness in real time.
Bet on the group stage game between Portugal and Ghana
Which player has the biggest chance of winning the World Cup?
Apart from Partey, all the players mentioned are considered the favourites for the World Cup. It proves that Arsenal knows how to recruit their players because they are world-class and talented enough to earn prominent spots on some world-class teams.
The two Gabriels are part of the biggest favourites to win in Brazil. However, that is not the overwhelming majority because, as the defending champs, France will be a fun team to watch, especially with most of the core coming back and players like Saliba joining the roster. Lastly, England is another favourite as they look to build on their success at the 2018 World Cup with Gareth Southgate, Harry Kane, Saka, and many more.
For the projections, Brazil is the favourite to win, meaning that Jesus, Gabriel, and Gabriel Martinelli are likely World Cup winners when they return to North London in 2023.
The World Cup will be exciting to watch and bet on
In the overall World Cup space, most will say that this is the most stacked World Cup in a long time. With teams like Brazil, France, and England putting out their stacked squads, they encounter stiff competition from other teams like Argentina and Belgium.
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Words: Cholo Martin