2022 is set to be a big year for footballers around the world. With a World Cup looming at the end of the year, many players will be looking to give everything they can to appear at the world’s biggest tournament.
Throw in several major regional competitions, as well as the usual club prizes, and it’s set to be an exciting year in football. So just who is going to steal the spotlight on the biggest stages and turn themselves into a global superstar? Let’s look at some of the footballers set for a huge 2022.
7 footballers set for a breakout year in 2022
Emile Smith Rowe (Arsenal/England)
It looks like Emile Smith-Rowe is finally showing the potential he has flashed over the past couple of years. The Arsenal attacking midfielder has got over his fitness issues and been a key part of The Gunners strong form in the Premier League so far and was named Arsenal player of the year.
He has been their leading scorer with 8 goals in the league, showcasing that he is coming of age. Add to the fact that he has now debuted for England as well means that 2022 could well be the year Smith-Rowe becomes one of Europe’s top attacking talents.
Luis Diaz (Porto/Colombia)
Few players rewrote the script in 2021 quite like Luis Diaz. The Colombian winger stole the headlines with some sensational performances and strikes in the 2021 Copa America and he has carried this form back to Porto with him.
The tricky winger’s flamboyance mixed with pace and solid fundamentals makes him a nightmare for any defence. With 12 goals in 15 games so far in the 2021/22 Liga Primeira, Diaz has been ruthless and is certain to be on the radar of all Europe’s biggest clubs in the forthcoming year. Certainly one of the footballers to keep an eye on in 2022.
Ludovic Ajorque (Strasbourg)
Ligue 1 has a reputation for hiding prolific strikers and Ludovic Ajorque could be the latest diamond in the rough. The Strasbourg striker has a real talent for finishing and no matter if it is a tap in, a header or from range.
Having scored in 16 goals in the 2020/21 Ligue 1 campaign, Ajorque has scored 9 in 16 for Strasbourg this season showing that his form isn’t temporary. Having yet to declare for either France or Madagascar internationally, Ajorque is one of the footballers who has plenty of option available to him in 2022 as he hits the peak of his career.
Robin Le Normand (Real Sociedad)
Real Sociedad have enjoyed an excellent start to the Spanish season, having found themselves sitting in reach of the European places. Their form has been due to excellence defensive prowess at which Robin Le Normand has been the breakout star. The Frenchman has thwarted whoever has tried to breach the Sociedad backline and shown composure well beyond his years.
His consistency earned him the October 2021 La Liga Player of the Month award to back up his outstanding efforts. It will be this sort of form that could earn him a breakthrough appearance in the France squad in the lead up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Lukasz Skorupski (Bologna/Poland)
Being a goalkeeper requires a large amounts of patience – something Lukasz Skorupski knows all too well. Yet, the Bologna keeper is finally coming out of the shadows and delivering on the big stage. His presence in goal has kept Bologna in the mid-table hunt and out of the relegation fight that they have been involved in in recent seasons.
His 7 clean sheets is tied third best in all of Serie A and outshone his compatriot and rival in the Polish team – Wojcech Szczesny. It’s this sort of form that has allowed Skorupski to claim the limelight for his own and announce himself to many of Europe’s biggest teams.
Jurrien Timber (Ajax/Netherlands)
Ajax never fails to produce world-class talent and their latest star is defender Jurrien Timber. Timber has claimed his spot at the heart of the Ajax defence and has helped his side take Eredivisie by storm this season.
Timber’s role has seen him show class and experienced beyond his years making himself a key asset to his side. With Timber in the side, Ajax has shut out 15 teams in 20 games and Timber himself has been named Eredivisie Talent of the Month twice this season. With this rich form, he will be hot property by the time the year is out.
Florian Wirtz (Bayer Leverkusen/Germany)
Florian Wirtz has stepped up big time to fill the shoes of Kai Havertz’s departure from Bayer Leverkusen. The young midfielder can be placed either as a central player or on either wing with devastating effect. His direct running and wide range of skills can bamboozle defenders and make it all seem effortless.
Wirtz has been in fine form this season so far notching up 8 assists and scoring 5 goals – surpassing his totals for the past season in just half the time. At just 18, Wirtz is one of Europe’s best young footballers already and could be set to deliver big for both Leverkusen and Germany by the time 2022 comes to a close.
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