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Ones to Watch

Ones to Watch: Giorgian De Arrascaeta makes World Cup debut for Uruguay

Giorgian De Arrascaeta started for Uruguay against Egypt in Moscow today. Here’s how he fared…

Jamie Watts

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The low-down:

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.

Photo: Getty Images

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.

The Performance:

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.

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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