With the World Cup set to begin in the coming weeks we here at SportsNewsIreland have taken a look through the squads and have picked five young defenders to watch for at international football’s biggest tournament.
Lets just think about it from a coaching perspective, with these tournaments coaches tend to bring players that have experience especially World Cup experience. However, coaches are now looking to young players to replace them. Just like in the last World Cup for instance young players like Mattia De Sciglio, Jose Gimenez and Erik Durm. With that in mind we take a look at 5 young defenders that are set to have a massive impact in Russia for their respective countries.
1. Marquinhos (Brazil)
Many may not think the Paris St Germain centre back is only 24, well he is. Indeed, he is a consistent performer, alongside his fellow Brazilian Thiago Silva who is also in the Brazilian squad for Russia. Sao Paulo born Marquinhos played at the U21 Toulon tournament for Brazil in 2014 and played in all five games as Brazil went on to win the tournament. He was also apart of the Brazilian Olympic team in 2016 that won gold at the Olympics. He is versatile, quick and has a calmness about him when on the ball. Will have a big tournament I suspect for Brazil.
2. Alvaro Odriozola (Spain)
Odriozola from San Sebastian is 22 years of age and is certainly one for the future in the Spanish defence. He has speed and stamina which are key, which allow him to glide past opposition players effortlessly. The Real Sociedad defender was apart of the Spain U21 side that finished runners-up in in the 2017 European Championships. He is in good form and Spanish boss Julen Lopetegui may consider him for a right back position on that basis.
3. Lucas Hernandez (France)
The 22 year old Atletico Madrid club man is still plying is trade but is gradually growing into a top class defender. He can play at either centre or left back and has made over 50 appearance already in short career for the Spanish giants. Indeed, he was apart of the side that won the Europa League this season. He is cool and calm on the ball, he is intelligent in terms of his use of possession and excellent going forward with the ball. He is sure to have a big World Cup in the colours of Les Bleus.
4. Niklas Sule (Germany)
The 22 year old Bayern Munich defender has the potential to be one of the best defenders in the game in the next few years. He joined Bayern from Hoffenheim and since then has really taken off. He is a strong, physical, no nonsense defender. He was part of the German squad that went to the Olympics in 2016 and took home a silver medal. He is improving with every game and I expect him to have a big say in Russia for Joachim Low’s side.
5. Davinson Sanchez (Columbia)
Sanchez is currently playing with Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier. The 21 year old is an excellent talent going forward his distribution of the ball is superb and his tackling as a defender ranks up their with the best. He is comfortable when in possession and has the ability to read the game like a book. He is certainly a player for the future but even now he has the potential to become the next big thing in terms of the calibre of centre backs over the years.