Five young defenders who have shone in Brazil so far

Adidas Brazuca

The following defenders have performed excellently at the World Cup so far. Everton, Manchester United and Arsenal targets all feature.

With the World Cup now well underway it's time to take a moment to look at five young defenders that have stood out in their nation's openers.

Some of Europe's biggest clubs will be watching the talent on show at the World Cup and the following defenders could be in for big moves after the tournament this summer.

1. Sime Vrsaljko - Croatia

The 22-year-old performed well in the opening game of the tournament against Brazil and kept Hulk very quiet in his sides controversial defeat against the hosts.

He won 100% of his aerial duels and looked comfortable throughout in such a huge match despite his inexperience.

Vrsaljko has only played eight times for the Vatreni and joined Italian club Genoa last summer, but if he continues to perform well for the Croatians, bigger clubs will come calling.

2. Daley Blind - Netherlands

The 24-year-old put in a stunning performance as the Netherlands thrashed the holders Spain 5-1, and he got two assists to help his side get their tournament off to a flying start.

The Ajax man's incredible pass to Robin Van Persie before half-time changed the complexion of the tie and he kept David Silva at bay.

  TeamPosGoal AssistTotal CrossTotal TackleAerial WonAccurate PassAppsMins
Daley Blind Netherlands DF 2 3 3 1 36 1 90

Blind is expected to make the move to the Premier League this summer with Manchester United a likely destination, as he would link up with his national team manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford.

3. Stefan de Vrij - Netherlands

Another Dutch defender who put in an eye-catching performance to help his side stun Spain was the 22-year-old centre-back who also managed to get on the scoresheet.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez is an admirer of the Feyenoord defender and there will be competition for his signature after a commanding performance in his World Cup debut.

He made seven tackles and his only slip up was the foul on Diego Costa which led to the opening goal of the game but he responded well by heading in his side's third.

4. Matteo Darmian - Italy

The 24-year-old was one of the best players on the pitch during Italy's 2-1 win against England and he was a constant threat down the right side.

The marauding Torino right-back wasn't phased by having to mark Wayne Rooney and caused plenty of problems for Leighton Baines.

  TeamPosTotal Scoring AttTotal CrossDuel WonAccurate PassAppsMins
Matteo Darmian Italy DF 2 1 2 33 1 90

Plenty of clubs will have taken note and more convincing displays will likely see Darmian the subject of bids from sides across Europe.

5. Serge Aurier - Ivory Coast

The 21-year-old could replace Bacary Sagna at Arsenal this summer and he certainly impressed last night, getting two assists in a matter of minutes to help The Elephants turn the game around to beat Japan 2-1.

The Toulouse fullback put several dangerous crosses into the box and his attacking style would fit the billing at the Emirates.

He was the man of the match in his World Cup debut and looks set to make a real impression during the remainder of the tournament.

His dream move to Arsenal is undoubtedly in reach.

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