The attacking midfielder has spent his entire career in South America, joining Cruzeiro from Defensor Sporting in his homeland of Uruguay back in 2015.
But the 14-time international, who is renowned for his mesmeric dribbling ability and his tendency to leave opposition defenders red-faced, is being tipped to make a serious name for himself this tournament.
De Arrascaeta is a prime representation of the current shift from pragmatic football, to a more progressive and attacking style this World Cup, spearheading the midfield in a fresh faced Uruguay team.
The 24-year-old garnered a reputation for being one of South America’s most promising prodigies after helping Cruzeiro lift the Campeonato Mineiro in 2018 – currently boasting 40 goals in 159 appearances for the club.
Strengths and weaknesses:
The Cruzeiro no 10 was expected to cause problems for the Egypt rearguard using his dribbling ability and low-centre of gravity to breeze through the lines. While his delivery from set pieces is also considered dangerous weapon.
However, his lack of experience means he isn’t too adaptable and tactically flexible in multiple systems – meaning he could have to sit out games against tough opposition, where the club aren’t expected to be on the front-foot.
It was a hit-and-miss performance for De Arrascaeta, as he started on the left flank in a flat 4-4-2, with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani spearheading the attack. He soon decided to drift in-field to see more of the ball, interchanging with Rodrigo Betancur, where his talents became more obvious – but a lack of width from Uruguay led to a dull first-half.
As expected De Arrascaeta was on corner duty on the day and his delivery was typically good. Though touches were rare for him, he showed a few glimpses which suggest he is capable of becoming the creative catalyst in his preferred position, behind the striker/strikers in future games.
Unfortunately, his key moment was a negative one. Diego Godin charged through the midfield, after picking the ball up in defence and laid in De Arrascaeta on the left side of the penalty area, but his touch was a awful and a rare opportunity for Uruguay to take the lead was squandered. He was eventually substituted in the 58th minute.