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Ones to Watch

World Cup One To Watch: Uruguay’s 24-year-old playmaker Giorgian De Arrascaeta

The Uruguay international will be a player to keep an eye out for in Russia.

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Giorgian De Arrascaeta
Photo: Getty Images

Cruzeiro attacker Giorgian De Arrascaeta is the spearhead of a new-look Uruguay National Team looking to make an impact at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

His inclusion in Oscar Tabarez’s plans for Russia is yet another reason to get excited about the upcoming tournament, for he is an exciting talent who will have gone under-the-radar to most European onlookers.

An attacking midfielder with a penchant for a skillful dribble and an eye for a killer pass, De Arrascaeta will offer a new threat to opposing defences this summer.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

Who is he?

The attacking midfielder has spent his entire career in South America, joining Cruzeiro from Defensor Sporting in his homeland of Uruguay back in 2015.

During his time with Sporting, he helped the club to an unlikely Uruguayan Clausura title while impressing in the Copa Libertadores. Naturally, his performances attracted interest from richer leagues around South America.

Brazilian champions Cruzeiro signed the playmaker in January 2015 and, despite a difficult start, Arrascaeta established himself as one of the teams most important players due to his standout creative ability.

What is his international experience/record?

After scoring twice for Uruguay as they finished runners-up at the 2013 FIFA Under-20 World Cup, De Arrascaeta made his debut for his nation’s senior team in a friendly against South Korea back in September 2014.

He was selected for the 2015 Copa America and handed the number 10 shirt – previously worn by the now retired Diego Forlan. However, he only played 26 minutes of the tournament, in a 1-0 victory over Jamaica.

Despite a limited role three years ago, in recent months he has become a regular starter in Tabarez’s preferred side, now boasting a total of 14 international appearances.

Why will he be a breakout World Cup star?

Nicknamed “Arrascaneta”, due to his innate ability to nutmeg rival defenders, the 24-year-old is sure to become a spectator’s favourite in Russia.

As the 24-year-old told FIFA.com in a previous interview, he models his entire game on former Argentine superstar Juan Román Riquelme, one of the most talented South American players of a generation.

While comparisons with Riquelme are premature at this stage, Arrascaeta undoubtedly possesses the same ability to lift a crowd off their seats with his skill and finesse.

The exciting talent is already being linked with a move to Europe and his involvement this summer is only likely to increase interest from outside of Brazil.

What is his future after the World Cup?

Reports from UOL Esporte suggest that Premier League new boys Wolverhampton Wanderers are interested in signing the Uruguay international, who is believed to have a buy-out clause of around £23 million.

Meanwhile, it is understood that French Ligue 1 outfit Monaco are also interested.

“Since I was a boy, my dream is to play for a great team in Europe. But nowadays I’m very happy in Cruzeiro and I only think about the club,” Arrascaeta told UOL Esporte.

However, despite his assertions that he is focused on his role at Cruzeiro, the Uruguyuan is seemingly a positive World Cup showing away from being one of the most sought-after players on the world stage.

With potential suitors already lining up for his services, it is unlikely he will remain in South America past the summer.

To see who else features in The Boot Room’s World Cup Ones to Watch series, click here.

Chris is the founder of The Boot Room. He is a Swindon Town supporter, having lived in Wiltshire for most of his years. His work has also featured on Squawka, Bleacher Report and Eurosport.

Liverpool

Liverpool fans react on Twitter to Timo Werner performance v South Korea

Liverpool have been linked with the Germany forward, who struggled in Russia.

Mathew Nash

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Germany are out of the World Cup after losing 2-0 to South Korea. Sweden and Mexico now advance from their group with the Germans heading home in the first round for the first time since 1938.

The inquiry now begins into what went wrong for Germany. Too much reliance on the old guard? Manuel Neuer back too soon? Leroy Sane?

But for many German fans, it was the performances of Timo Werner that will be to blame.

The RB Leipzig forward came into the tournament on fire. The 22-year-old scored 21 goals in 45 games last season. However, he failed to find the net at the World Cup in hard-working but ultimately toothless displays.

His performance in the South Korea game, where he squandered chances, caught the attention of Liverpool fans.

(Photo credit should read LUIS ACOSTA/AFP/Getty Images)

Liverpool have long been linked with a move for Werner. Jurgen Klopp is believed to be a big fan of his countryman. Bild reported Klopp was ready to sanction a £87 million move for the player back in March, only for the Liverpool Echo to insist Werner was not on a list of targets for this summer.

His performances at the World Cup are hardly going to change that.

Liverpool fans on Twitter certainly don’t see what all the fuss is about and would rather see Werner left be. Apart from some, who think now might be the perfect time to strike and sign Werner at a lower price.

It seems unlikely Werner will be at Liverpool next season and, based on the World Cup, that’s probably for the best right now…

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Liverpool

Liverpool fans won’t be disheartened by lack of Timo Werner talks after World Cup display

The German has been heavily linked with Liverpool but is still not the finished article.

Mathew Nash

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One man who has been consistently linked with a move to Liverpool in recent seasons is German striker Timo Werner. The Leipzig star was, therefore, being watched closely by Reds fans when Germany took on Mexico in the first game of Germany’s World Cup defence.

Werner, who has also been tipped as one of 10 players to watch at the World Cup by The Boot Room, did not have his best game.

The Leipzig striker struggled throughout the game to make any sort of impact against Mexico’s excellent defenders. In the end, he was hauled off, limping, after a poor display in Moscow, with El Tri winning the game 1-0.

Whilst Liverpool continues to be a rumoured destination for Werner, it is clear that the Reds are not apparently interested. It was reported by the Liverpool Echo that the club made it clear he was not a target as far back as March. Which was a surprise, considering he has scored 21 goals this season.

(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)

But based on this performance, Liverpool fans will not be too disappointed in the decision.

With Nabil Fekir no longer arriving, the Werner rumours had recently come back to the surface. But it would appear Rhian Brewster, handed a new deal by Liverpool this weekend, may now get a pathway to the first-team.

As for Werner, his ability is not in doubt. This summer he may make a move and wherever he goes he will surely be a success.

But Liverpool will not be overly concerned about their decision to let a transfer move slide.   

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Manchester United

Fans react on Twitter to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic performance

Manchester United have been heavily linked with a move for the Lazio midfielder.

Mathew Nash

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Photo: Getty Images

Serbia took on Costa Rica in the World Cup today and put in a solid performance, eventually coming away with a 1-0 win. Aleksandar Kolarov scored the winner with a fantastic long-range free-kick.

But for Manchester United fans the man to watch was Lazio midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

Tipped by The Boot Room as one of 10 players to watch at the World Cup he has been linked with a move to United recently.

Valued at £87.5 million, did he live up to the hype?

The reaction to his performance was, in parts, mixed.

What was clear is that Milinkovic-Savic is a fantastic talent. Big and strong he rivals United midfielder and Serbia teammate Nemanja Matic for physicality.

But he is also extremely agile and nimble. Quick-footed, he often left Costa Rica players chasing shadows with some brilliant skill.

The highlight of his performance was perhaps an overhead kick attempt in the first-half. He leaped out of nowhere, defying his frame, before unleashing an acrobatic effort at Keylor Navas’ goal.

It was a good performance and one perhaps more indicative of potential than the finished article. Manchester United are undoubtedly in the running for the player but are not alone, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all chasing the player.

His display v Costa Rica certainly showed why there is so much hype over a player who can do so many different jobs in midfield. Improvements still need to be made, but the raw talent is clearly there.

Here is how fans reacted on Twitter…

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