Superstar players are used to pressure, right? Well, next season many big names in Europe are either fighting for their future or feeling the weight of expectations on their shoulders. Here is a list of 10 that will be scrutinized as the new campaign begins.
From being named in the team of the tournament after England’s run to last summer’s Euro 2020 final, to booing some of his own fans at a recent friendly, the Manchester United centre-back has suffered a quick and spectacular fall at Grace after a nearly disastrous season.
The United captain, who became the world’s most expensive defender after an £80million move from Leicester City in 2019, became the scapegoat for much of United’s struggles last season and will now have to convince new boss Erik ten Hag (who has already announced this). keep the armband) that he can adapt to a new and ambitious style of defense organization. Maguire faces a race against time to correct his lack of mobility, pace and inability to deal with opponents lining up behind him and prove his suitability to remain the mainstay of defense.
The 24-year-old, once regarded as one of the most astute and energetic forwards in elite European football, has appeared completely drained of energy over the past 12 months. While Rashford used to slide past opponents with ease in the final third with his superb balance, tight control and pace changes, he’s appeared hesitant and lethargic of late.
With Ten Hag likely to introduce a more intense, high-pressure style of football, Rashford is in dire need of rediscovering the things that made him such a crucial figure for club and country as his contract expires next summer. He has already scored two goals in pre-season (against Melbourne and Crystal Palace) after scoring just two goals so far in 2022, both in January.
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As one of the main protagonists of Anfield’s resurgence under Jurgen Klopp over the past seven years, Firmino saw his stock slip somewhat last season. The 30-year-old Brazilian striker/’fake no9′ will need to prove himself again in the final year of his contract and strong interest from Juventus if he is to be offered similar terms, but he faces competition from £90m new signing Darwin Nunez.
Liverpool are in the process of rebuilding their side but although Firmino has lost his status as a regular he can still make a difference in a small role (the Champions League quarter-finals against Benfica being a prime example). However, he fell out of Brazil’s starting XI and with the World Cup looming, he is under pressure to take his chances whenever they come.
Shaka Hislop believes Manchester City have nothing to worry about Erling Haaland coming under pressure in his first Premier League season.
Haaland comes to England with an impeccable reputation – averaging a goal per competitive game is remarkable for any player, let alone a 21-year-old – but it will count for little if he doesn’t hit the ground running in the season First League. Arguably the most spectacular signing of the summer, the Norwegian striker will be under much more scrutiny (especially when it comes to an inevitable losing streak) than at Dortmund, where his goals were more of a spectacular bonus than the catalyst to close the gap at Bayern Munich.
Now Haaland is expected not only to help with the goals in Pep Guardiola’s side securing another Premier League title but also to be one of the key difference makers in helping City win their first Champions League trophy. Perhaps his sky-high confidence and outgoing personality will make the challenge less daunting.
As Kroos heads into his ninth season at LaLiga and European champions, he faces increasing competition for a spot on the side. While the exact roles and composition of Carlo Ancelotti’s midfield have yet to be defined, it is expected that Eduardo Camavinga (31m – will play more than just a supporting role when Kroos (32), Luka Modric (36) and Casemiro ( 30) begin to end their careers.
Even at the elite level of the European game, few players can match Kroos’ intelligence or his ability to multi-task in midfield, but with just one year left on his contract he needs a big season to show why he does it deserves to stay with Madrid.
The €115m return of the Belgium striker to Chelsea last summer was a disaster. I’ve contributed a lot to Inter ScudettoWith 24 goals, Lukaku was never satisfied with Thomas Tuchel’s more possession-oriented approach in his successful 24-goal season, ending with just eight goals while generally appearing unhappy and disinterested.
Now back on loan at Inter, he won’t play under Antonio Conte (although new boss Simone Inzaghi’s footballing style is not dissimilar), but Inter fans will expect a replica of the imposing, energetic frontman who combines so well with him did Lautaro Martinez during his first two seasons at the San Siro.
Although the 21-year-old centre-back joined Arsenal for €30m from Saint-Etienne in 2019, he has yet to score a ball for the club in an official game. Instead, he enjoyed two outstanding seasons in Ligue 1 on loan – with Saint-Etienne and Marseille – and secured a regular place in France’s senior squad. But now he is returning to the Emirates with high hopes.
Mikel Arteta found a decent balance on his defense last season – with Ben White and Gabriel Magalhaes as his first-choice pairing – so it’s not certain that Saliba will go straight into the first starting XI (although he did have a good one in pre-season ) Although White can switch to right-back and Arteta wants plenty of depth for a long season, Saliba will have to fight hard and stay patient to make an impact.
Julien Laurens and Gab Marcotti discuss Neymar’s future amid reports PSG want him gone.
Neymar, Paris Saint Germain
Five years after joining PSG from Barcelona for a world-record €222m, Neymar’s status at the club has fallen to the point where sources have told ESPN they are ready to listen to offers for him despite his contract expiring in 2027.
Scoring eight goals in seven games, the Brazilian striker enjoyed an inspired end to last season – by which point the Ligue 1 title was practically complete – but the question remains whether more should be expected from such a legendary player. Nothing indicates that the relationship between the club (or its fans) and the 30-year-old is particularly happy, so it will be interesting to see how he reacts.
While the 30-year-old Mane undoubtedly has what it takes to become a star of the German champions, the pressure to replace Robert Lewandowski up front will be difficult to manage. Although the two players have two completely different technical profiles and Bayern boss Julian Nagelsmann is likely to adjust his tactics to mitigate the loss of the departed Polish centre-forward, comparisons are inevitable. Rennes striker Mathys Tel has arrived in Munich but, at 17, will be spared the limelight for a while. However, Mane has to show he was worth the club’s €41m investment.
With Matthijs de Ligt joining Bayern Munich for €77m and Giorgio Chiellini, 37, joining MLS club LAFC, the onus is on keeping Juventus’ central defense together this season. While the €42m signing of Turin’s Gleison Bremer should be a good addition, replacing two proven centre-backs is no easy feat and apart from first choice the Juventus defense appears to lack depth. There are few other defenders in the world who can be relied on more, but tricky injuries have been a problem for Bonucci over the past few seasons.
https://www.espn.com/soccer/soccer-transfers/story/4707210/harry-maguiremarcus-rashforderling-haalandneymar-among-players-who-will-be-under-pressure Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford, Erling Haaland, Neymar among players who will be under pressure