With us two weeks into the World Cup in Russia, we’ve been able to have a good luck at each and every team in this year’s tournament – and so will Rafa.
It seems unlikely that he’ll look to sign anyone on the back of a few good performances in Russia, but here’s a few players who may have impressed him with some strong performances under the radar:
M’baye Niang (Senegal)
The Torino striker is just 23 years old but has looked a constant threat in Russia. He has a goal and an assist so far and has been a handful in each of their first two games.
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 19, 2018
Andre Carrillo (Peru)
He didn’t get a chance to show it during a loan spell with Watford, but his pace, power and direct style makes him look made for the Premier League. Scored a great goal during Peru’s win over Australia this week
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 26, 2018
Pione Sisto (Denmark)
Denmark’s left winger. Looks energetic, lightening quick and has good technique. Has done well at Celta Vigo over the past few seasons and is probably a player Benitez is aware of after his impressive form in Spain.
Nordin Amrabat (Morocco)
He’s caused all sorts of problems down Morocco’s right. Looks strong, direct and an all action winger – making me wonder just why he didn’t get in Watford’s team more regularly over the last few years.
Youssouf Sabaly (Senegal)
The 25-year-old left-back has looked like a real talent, putting in some impressive attacking performances from left-back and being at the heart of several Senegal goals so far (see his skilful assist below). He currently plays at Bordeaux and could be a snip at his market value of just £6m.
— Football GIFs (@FootballGIFs4) June 24, 2018
Yussuf Poulsen (Denmark)
A striker by trade but has looked dangerous down Denmark’s right hand side. 6ft 3′ tall, still only 24 and an impressive athlete considering his size. Scored in their opening fixture against Peru and plays for German side Leipzig.
Ahmed Musa (Nigeria)
His pace has been a frightening weapon for Nigeria, with him also showing his quality with two superbly taken goals during their 2-0 win over Iceland. It hasn’t worked out for him at Leicester and he looks set to be sold this summer – a versatile forward worth looking at?
— FIFA WORLD CUP 2018⚽ (@_WorldCupStats) June 22, 2018
Takashi Inui (Japan)
Has looked a real threat down their left and has arguably been Japan’s top performer in their opening two games so far, scoring one and setting another up in their recent 2-2 draw with Senegal. Plays for Lejeune’s former team Eibar in Spain.
Nagatomo to Inui brilliant goal for Japan. pic.twitter.com/hwAFGB3fAT
— InterYaSkriniar ????????? (@InterYaSkriniar) June 24, 2018
Ismalia Sarr (Senegal)
Was linked with a move to NUFC during his time at Metz but ended up signing for Ligue 1 side Rennes last summer. He’s only 20, but the right winger looks a real talent. Still raw but incredibly quick and able to take on his man (or two) at will.
Diego Laxalt (Uruguay)
The left-sided Uruguayan can play anywhere down the left-hand side and his pace caused Russia real problems during their emphatic 3-0 win earlier this week. He’s been linked with a move to Newcastle in the past and could be someone Rafa takes another look at given our need for left-backs and left-wingers.
Laxalt pass to Suarez – If that had led to a goal, the pass of the tournament. pic.twitter.com/xA0YTnIzuL
— InterYaSkriniar ????????? (@InterYaSkriniar) June 25, 2018
Is there any under the radar players that have impressed you in Russia so far?
(Fancy writing for us? Send any articles/ideas over to us at NUFCblogsubmissions@gmail.com & we’ll get back to you!)
About Olly Hawkins
Olly has been a Junior Magpie from birth. As a season ticket holder and avid Newcastle United fan - he eats, sleeps and breathes all things NUFC.