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Which Arsenal Player Will Make An Impact At The World Cup?

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The 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar is fast approaching and international managers are finally announcing the 26-man squads that will represent their respective nations. As one of the biggest clubs in England, Arsenal has many players represented at the tournament. Some will be lucky to get to the knockout stages and others have a real chance of returning to North London as World Cup Winners. Let us take a look at what we can expect and which Arsenal player from those that will be on show in Qatar will shine brightest?

Aaron Ramsdale- England

There is every chance that the Arsenal number one will be the third-choice goalkeeper for England at the World Cup with Jordan Pickford a lock to start for the Three Lions. While it is unlikely that Ramsdale will feature in Qatar it is still an experience for the player and he will come back better for it. Perhaps when the 2026 World Cup in North America roles around the Arsenal stopper will have staked his claim on the England number one jersey.

Ben White- England

Nobody knows what Gareth Southgate’s back line will look like at the World Cup, but there are few English defenders in as good form as Arsenal’s Ben White. His main competition for the starting role in the centre of defence will likely be the much-maligned Harry Maguire. Few players have had as much criticism at the club level in the last 18 months. White will face stiffer competition at right back, but with an injury to Reece James, Kyle Walker unlikely to be fit for the first game and Alexander-Arnold out of favour then there is every chance that Ben White gets an opportunity to start at right-back against Iran on match-day one.

Buyako Saka

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If there is a player at the World Cup who deserves to thrive it is Arsenal’s own Bukayo Saka. The youngster suffered more than most at Euro 2020 as it was his missed penalty that handed Italy the trophy against England at Wembley Stadium. Since that devastating moment, Saka has shown his strength of character and has continued to improve as an Arsenal player. Now Saka is one of the best wingers in the Premier League and will likely only get better in the coming years.

While Ramsdale and White may only have peripheral roles to play in the tournament it is likely that Buyako Saka will be a key player for England. If the Three Lions do have a successful World Cup then expect Saka to be at the heart of it.

Thomas Partey- Ghana

When he is fit he is the heart of Arsenal’s midfield and he is likely even more important for Ghana in the upcoming tournament. The Black Stars will be competing with Portugal, Uruguay and South Korea in one of the most competitive and unpredictable groups in this year’s World Cup. Portugal boasts their strongest squad in years while South Korea and Uruguay nervously await the final verdict on the injury status of some of their outstanding players. At this level, there are no easy games and Thomas Partey will need to be at his brilliant best to see his Ghana side through the group.

Gabriel Jesus- Brazil

Few players have risen from the ashes in the way that Gabriel Jesus has as a striker for Arsenal this season. The player had been the understudy for Sergio Agüero for a long time at Manchester City and when the Argentine moved on a narrative also parroted by Pep Guardiola was at the forefront of the English press “Manchester City don’t have a striker”. At that time Jesus had also gone through an incredible dry spell for the Brazil National Team playing 19 games mostly as a striker and not scoring. It was clear that his confidence was shot, but it was also clear by his performances for City that there was a player in there.

Since his move to Arsenal, Jesus has been incredible for The Gunners and has become the club’s talisman in a short period of time. With so much attacking Talent there is no guarantee Jesus will start for Brazil, but in his current form expect him to make an impact if he gets a chance. This opportunity couldn’t be at a better time as the 5x winners go into Qatar as favourites to lift the famous trophy.

Gabriel Martinelli- Brazil

A few months ago this may have been a surprise inclusion for Brazil, but Gabriel Martinelli has established himself as one of the most dynamic wingers in the Premier League this season. His pace and direct style of play will offer Brazil a direct replacement for the brilliant Vinícius Júnior on the left-hand side of the attack.

With Brazil being the favourites there is a great chance the youngster might end up a World Cup winner but in reality, this World Cup is an experience for the player and it will be future tournaments that will really give the player a chance to be a star. Expect Martinelli to be an impact sub for Brazil as the tournament progresses.

William Saliba- France

Another player that has burst onto the scene this season is William Saliba. The French stopper has been a rock at the heart of Mikel Arteta’s defence this season. It wasn’t that long ago that Saliba was a peripheral figure at Arsenal with many suggesting that the player would look for a permanent move to Ligue 1 in the summer. That seems a long time ago now as Saliba looks to be one of the most promising central defenders in world football.

Les Blues will be without the centre-back pairing that saw them lift the trophy four years ago with Samuel Umtiti hopelessly out of form and Raphael Varane struggling for fitness. He may not be the first choice for coach Didier Deschamps, but if called upon Saliba will be ready to play his part in France’s title defence in Qatar.

Takehiro Tomiyasu- Japan

If Japan is to have a successful world cup then Takehiro Tomiyasu will need to be at his absolute best for the Samurai Blue. Either at right-back or in the centre Tomiyasu is a warrior on the pitch and with this attitude, he will hope to inspire his team to victory against some tough opponents. Japan will have to compete with Germany, Spain and Costa Rice in one of the hardest groups in the tournament.

With a group containing two of the big boys, Japan will need to take out a far more capable side. If either Japan or Costa Rica do escape the group then that alone will be considered a great success for one of the competitions underdogs.

Matt Turner- USA

Not that long ago Matt Turner was playing in MLS and struggling to cement himself as the first-choice goalkeeper for the USA. Now Turner is the second-choice keeper for the English Premier League keepers and will likely begin the World Cup in the USA’s starting eleven. It can only be good for Arsenal for their new keeper to get game time at the highest level and for the USA to be successful it is a certainty that he will need to be at his best.

Paired with England, Iran and Wales the USA will expect to qualify from the group stage, however, any more than that will be a bonus for Gregg Berhalter’s side.

Granit Xhaka- Switzerland

There was a point not that long ago when Granit Xhaka was close to no longer being an Arsenal player and there wasn’t an Arsenal fan that would have been sad to see him go. Fortunately for everyone, the Swiss midfielder stayed with the reds and has become a crucial part of Arteta’s midfield.

The Swiss have a history of getting out of the group in International tournaments and they will likely be the favourites to follow Brazil out of the group on this occasion also. There will be stiff competition from both Cameroon and Serbia, but Xhaka and co should have enough to get by and then look to progress through the knockout stages.

With nations like Brazil and France represented in the national squad there is an excellent chance that The Gunners will be welcoming some World Cup heroes back through the door in January.

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Az Lynch has been writing about football since he joined Overtime Heroics in 2021. He is a graduate of both Dundee and Abertay Universities in Scotland. His content is focused on the English Premier League. You can follow him on Twitter