Which Arsenal stars have the best chance of 2022 World Cup success

With less than a year left before the beginning of the 22nd edition of the World Cup finals, several Arsenal stars will be looking to secure their place on the biggest international stage.

Unlike some previous generations, this Gunners squad may not see many players representing their countries at next year’s showpiece.

However, we will have a quick look at some Arsenal players that could have a genuine shot at the most coveted international prize.

#1 England

Arsenal’s decision to fork out £30 million to land the 23-year-old goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale has been one of the best pieces of business executed by Edu and co in recent times.

The highly-rated youngster has been nothing short of outstanding this season, providing safety and composure from the back.

Ramsdale has become a permanent fixture at the England national team since May, earning Gareth Southgate’s call-up despite being part of a Sheffield United side that suffered relegation from the Premier League last season.

Given Jordan Pickford’s underwhelming performances of late, the Gunners’ first-choice shot-stopper could dethrone his Everton counterpart by the time the tournament starts.

In addition to Ramsdale, Bukayo Saka is likely to play a prominent role in England’s pursuit of their first World Cup title since 1966.

The versatile forward has been one of Southgate’s most trusted allies since making his Premier League breakthrough. 

Saka was a significant cog of an England side that finished runners-up to Italy at Euro 2020 this summer.

Despite being an unused substitute at the summer’s European Championship, Ben White will stake his claim for a place in Southgate’s World Cup squad.

With a golden era of talent coming through at the Three Lions, bettors expectations will be high at WC 2022 in Qatar, especially following England’s exploits at Euro 2020.

#2 Germany

After uncertain times down the final stretch of Joachim Low’s reign, Germany have again turned into a force to be reckoned with under the ex-Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick.

Die Mannschaft have gone from strength to strength in the business end of the World Cup qualifying campaign, which coincided with Flick’s arrival at the helm in September.

Back-to-back disasters at major international tournaments should give the Germans an added motive to showcase their strength at Qatar 2022 and regain some glow they’ve dropped down the road.

Bernd Leno, who slipped down the pecking order at the Emirates on the back of Ramsdale’s arrival from Sheffield, has retained his place in the national team.

But even regular first-team football wouldn’t have helped the 29-year-old’s cause at Germany, courtesy of Manuel Neuer’s ever-lasting presence.

The Bayern stalwart is an indispensable starter for Die Mannschaft, and though he’ll be 36 by the time Qatar 2022 starts, there is no doubt he’ll be Flick’s number one choice between the sticks. 

#3 Belgium 

Arsenal paid Anderlecht £18 million to capture the signature of the up-and-coming deep-lying midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga in the summer.

Though he has joined the club as a part of the club’s long-term plans, the 22-year-old has quickly developed into a first-team regular under Mikel Arteta.

Lokonga, who has featured in 11 of Arsenal’s 12 Premier League matches this season, was part of Roberto Martinez’s squad in the November international break.

Unfortunately, he spent all three of Belgium’s World Cup qualifiers on the bench due to fierce competition for places in the middle of the park.

It’s hard to expect the prodigious midfielder to earn a starting berth in a team jammed-full of established stars such as Kevin De Bruyne, Youri Tielemans and Axel Witsel. 

However, if Lokonga manages to keep his form curve on the upwards trajectory, he could make Belgium’s World Cup squad next year.

The tournament in Qatar could be the final opportunity for De Rode Duivels’ golden generation to claim their first major international title and justify their number one spot in the FIFA rankings. 

With Belgium’s standout performers now in their prime, the ‘Russia 2018’ semi-finalists should go for broke in Qatar if they are to prove their doubters wrong.

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