Check it out here as Ronaldo.com names the five most valuable footballers yet to make their debuts at international level.
Representing a nation is one of the most prestigious honours any footballer can experience. In some cases, it defines the outlook of their own careers more than trophies won.
Success at international level is a rare and arguably greater achievement than anything club football has to offer.
Unfortunately, not everyone got the chance to shine on the international stage in the past. Such examples include Mikel Arteta, Steve Bruce, Gabi and Paolo Di Canio. Sometimes talent alone isn’t always enough, as these men may have proved.
So here on Ronaldo.com, we give you the five most valuable footballers in 2020 yet to feature for their national teams at senior level.
Matteo Guendouzi (France) – €40.5m
The 21-year-old, who joined Arsenal in 2018 from French second division side FC Lorient for €8m, has impressed in the Premier League. His enthusiasm and fearlessness on the ball earned him plenty of admirers, helping create a buzz about the Gunners’ midfield when he first arrived.
Guendouzi’s performances in London earned him two call-ups to the France squad last year. However, he sat on the bench for all four games he attended.
Although it’s surely only a matter of time before Guendouzi finally features for the world champions. In the meantime, he’ll probably settle for further appearances at U-21 level.
Dayot Upamecano (France) – €45m
‘The Rock’ is one of the most in-demand young defenders in European football following a strong three-year stint at RB Leipzig. Yet, he still hasn’t featured for the French national team.
Dayot Upamecano has instead played for Les Bleus at U-16, 17, 18, 19 and 21 level.
But if France aren’t careful, they could still lose him as Upamecano is eligible for the Guinea-Bissau and Portuguese national teams.
Ferran Torres (Spain) – €45m
Liverpool, Juventus and Borussia Dortmund are all reportedly chasing Torres’ signature this summer.
The 20-year-old has enjoyed a breakthrough campaign for Valencia and seems to have a great deal of potential. Therefore, it’s not surprising so many top clubs are interested. But chances of becoming a regular for Spain appear remote.
Fernan Torres hasn’t debuted for La Roja, having spent his international career at youth level so far. That will hopefully change in the near future.
Houssem Aouar (France) – €49.5m
The Lyon star has earned himself a reputation for being able to do it all, thanks to his versatility. It enables him to create opportunities from deep, make a last-ditch tackle, and even get in the box himself.
What really makes Aouar stand out, however, is his craft and class in abundance. He also has a knack for picking up a pass and driving forward.
The 22-year-old, who interests several top European clubs for this summer, has played for France at U-17 and U-21 level.
Aymeric Laporte (France) – €60m
Perhaps one of the biggest mysteries in international football is why Laporte still hasn’t played for France? It’s a problem that’s frequently left fans and pundits scratching their heads.
The 26-year-old has been a rock in the Manchester City defence, helping the club win six trophies. He also helped the French U-19 squad finish runners-up in the U-19 European championship in 2013.
But while Laporte remains a fundamental presence to Pep Guardiola, he’s experienced no such luck with Didier Deschamps.
“There is only one answer: there is a coach and the coach doesn’t choose me,” said Laporte in December 2018 via AS.
“I don’t have anything against him (Deschamps), but if someone has [a problem] it’s with me.
“They are the coach’s decisions, but in this case he doesn’t choose me, I believe, for personal reasons.”
The Frenchman could’ve represented Spain at international level during his time at Athletic Bilbao. But he ultimately decided against applying for Spanish citizenship.