When the time for an International break comes around fans alike will be dreading the thought of not being able to watch their favourite clubs over the week and if your an England fan you will be cringing at the thought of having to watch more boring football. However, for players its a great opportunity to represent their country whether it is for the first time or the 50th. With that in mind here are 5 U23 players to look out for during the International break who will hopefully make you start enjoying this week away from top flight domestic competitions.
If you have read any of my previous articles you will know I am a huge fan of the Zambian forward. The 18-Year-Old is coming into the International break on the back of his first run out in the Red Bull Salzburg senior team. Patson Daka has already racked up 7 appearances so far with 4 in the league, 2 in the Europa League and 1 in the cup. Although he has only scored 1 goal the Zambian has made a massive impression on the Salzburg faithful. Internationally, Daka scored his first goal for the Zambian senior team in the Chipolopolos last qualification match against Algeria in which they came out the victors in a 1-0 win. Zambia will have a tough test against Gernot Rohr’s Nigeria side who sit top of the group. With Zambia looking to make their world cup dreams a reality they will be looking for the youngster to step up to lead them to Russia.
Another player I am a huge fan of, Yuya Kubo has been gaining massive plaudits by fans alike for his performances for both club and country. The 23-Year-Old is coming off a 23 goal season for Belgium side, Gent making an instant impact for his club. This season the striker has only bagged himself 2 goals but has still shown the talent which he has become synonymous with. Internationally, Yuya Kubo has replicated his club form for Japan’s national team. During Japan’s world cup qualifiers, Kubo had a return of 2 goals and 2 assists in 5 starts to help Japan qualify for the World Cup. Now that Japan has booked their ticket to Russia its is not only friendlies for them now with 2 upcoming fixtures against New Zealand it will be great preparation for Japan in their hopes of exceeding expectations at Russia and putting on a show for their faithful plans, hopefully with Yuya Kubo in the picture.
The Story of the Syrian national team is on everyones lips. The war torn country is using the beautiful game as an escapism to their worries and the players are certainly helping them to do so. A player who has been a huge part of the nations world cup dreams is Al-Hilal forward, Omar Kharbin whose goals have inspired Syria to glory. The 23-Year-Old has bagged 6 goals and assisted 2 in 13 games which is an impressive return for the winger. For his club the Syrian player has replicated his international form by scoring 2 and assisting 1 in 3 games in the Saudi Pro League so far this season. With a tough test against Australia, the side will need to overcome the Aussies in a 2 legged tie to get one step closer to Russia.
Kasim Nuhu is just one of many players who are set to make their international debuts during this weeks break which can take his career to a new level. The Ghanaian defender has been more than impressive in Switzerland’s top flight for BSC Young Boys in the heart of the defence. The 22-Year-Old has made 15 appearances so far, scoring 3 and assisting 1, including solid performances in both the Europa League and Champions League, if you forget about his unfortunate own goal. The centre back will be looking to make an instant impact for Ghana just like he did for Young Boys. With World Cup qualifiers against tough opposition in Uganda and Egypt, the youngster will need to make a difference to the side as the black stars currently sit 3rd in their group behind the 2 sides they will face during this international break.
Arguably one of the biggest stories of the international break comes in the form of Brazilian midfielder, Arthur. The 21-Year-Old is considered one of the biggest talents in Brazil’s top flight and it clearly shows with the Gremio central midfielder being called up to the Brazil squad for the first team. The midfielder has made 29 appearances for his side including 8 in one of the most exciting competitions in the world in the Copa Libertadores. Although he has scored 1 goal and assisted 1 the Brazilian youngster has been gaining plaudits by those who have seen him play. With Brazil set to face Bolivia in a world cup qualifier, all eyes will be focused on this game to see if Arthur will be able to get his first cap and showcase just how talented he is.