Here are 7 more of best players left out of the 2018 World Cup squads.
7. Marcos Alonso - Spain
Spain still have arguably the best depth of any nation in international football. Marcos Alonso was one of a handful of established Spanish players to miss out, despite the Spaniard making last seasons PFA Premier League Team of the Season. Alonso scored eight goals and made three assists from left-back last season, but he has only ever been capped by Spain once. Jordi Alba and Nacho Monreal will be Spain’s two left-backs heading to Russia.
6. Ander Herrera - Spain
Ander Herrera of Manchester United reacts following The Emirates FA Cup Final between Chelsea and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 19, 2018 in London, England.
Ander Herrera deserves to make this seven, but it’s not hard to see why he was left out of the Spain squad, since they have such a plethora of options in the middle of the park. With Sergio Busquets holding and the likes of David Silva, Thiago and Andres Iniesta in more advanced roles, Herrera’s chances were always slim. The Manchester United regular has won just two caps for Spain to date, one coming in 2016 and the other in 2017.
5. Alvaro Morata - Spain
This seven isn’t just made up of Spanish Premier League players, I promise you, but we do have another one in fifth. It may have been a slightly underwhelming first season in the Premier League for Alvaro Morata, but he’s still a tidy centre-forward who is particularly dangerous in the air. Formerly of Real Madrid and Juventus, Morata scored 15 goals in his first season at Stamford Bridge, but Spain have opted to go with Rodrigo, Diego Costa and Iago Aspas as their three strikers in Russia.
4. Bernd Leno - Germany
Bernd Leno of Germany looks on during the FIFA Confederations Cup Russia 2017 Group B match between Australia and Germany at Fisht Olympic Stadium on June 19, 2017 in Sochi, Russia.
One of four talented players axed as Joachim Low cut his German squad down from 27 to 23 players, Bernd Leno is a very good goalkeeper. The 26-year-old has already racked up more than 300 appearances, the vast majority of which have come with his current club Bayer Leverkusen. A well-rounded shot stopper who is quick to come off his line, Leno has won six caps with Germany, and won the Confederations Cup last year, but Low has gone with Manuel Neuer, Kevin Trapp and Marc-Andre ter Stegen as his three ‘keepers for the finals.
3. Anthony Martial - France
After a really impressive debut season at Manchester United, in which he scored 17 goals, Anthony Martial hasn’t quite kicked on at Old Trafford - although how much of that is down to him, and how much can be put on the manager is up for debate.
Unquestionably talented, Martial is an excellent dribbler of the ball with tremendous pace. He has won 18 caps for France to date, but it was no real shock to see him left out of the French squad given their serious depth in wide areas.
2. Kingsley Coman - France
Kingsley Coman of France in action during the UEFA Euro 2016 Group A match between France and Albania at Stade Velodrome on June 15, 2016 in Marseille, France.
Talking of France’s depth in wide areas, another player Didier Deschamps left out of his final 23 man squad for the finals in Russia was 21-year-old Kingsley Coman. Coman is even quicker than Martial, and he has won 12 trophies as a senior pro, which is remarkable for a player of his age. He picked up an injury in February and has played only once for Bayern Munich since then, but it still came as a surprise to some that he was left out.
1. Leroy Sane - Germany
An inevitable top spot in this seven, Leroy Sane could rival the top two in the first part of this video as the best player snubbed by their country for the finals. Sane was absolutely sensational for Manchester City last season, with 14 goals and 17 assists from 52 outings. Joachim Low said it was an incredibly close call, and who are we to argue with a man who has won a World Cup - but personally, we’d take Sane over every one of Germany’s wide options, and I’m even including Marco Reus in that.