Everybody knows who the MVPs are in the Wales squad. Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey have played starring roles for their country for over a decade and proved their importance during qualifying. In seven games, Bale scored five goals (including two play-off strikes against Austria) and provided four assists, while Ramsey totalled three goals and one assist in six appearances.
But who are the key players for Wales outside of Bale and Ramsey? Here, we have looked at four players who could be vital for Robert Page at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Club: AFC Bournemouth
Kieffer Moore is one of the most important players in the Wales World Cup squad outside of Bale and Ramsey. The 30-year-old striker broke into the team in 2019 and made an immediate impact, scoring three goals in his first six appearances.
Since then, Moore has become a key figure in Page’s side. He is the first-choice number nine for The Dragons, with his presence often freeing up space for Bale to work his magic. The former Cardiff City man also regularly chips in with important goals. As well as a vital strike against Switzerland at Euro 2020, he has also bagged against Mexico, Finland and Belgium in his international career.
Club: Tottenham Hotspur
Tottenham’s Ben Davies has become a defensive lynchpin for Wales recently. He is one of his country’s most seasoned players, bringing Premier League and Champions League experience to the fold. In addition, he also offers versatility at the back, having played as a left-back and centre-back during qualifying.
Keeping things tight at the back in Qatar is vital for Wales. And having played under Antonio Conte – one of the best defensive managers in the world – for the last year, Davies can be a leader in the Welsh backline. The ex-Swansea man showcased himself as a big game player with an impressive display in the World Cup play-off against Ukraine. In that match, he completed four clearances, two clearances, two blocks and one tackle to help his team win 1-0.
Club: Rennes (on loan from Tottenham Hotspur)
Joe Rodon will likely line up alongside Davies in the defence and will be vital to the Welsh cause. The centre-back has been impressing in a loan spell in Ligue 1 with Rennes. He has become a regular starter for the French side, meaning he will arrive in Qatar match fit and ready to go.
The 2022 World Cup will be Rodon’s second major tournament with Wales, having also played at Euro 2020. He played every minute at the Euros, and his performances were solid, averaging 6.3 clearances, 1.3 blocks and 1.3 interceptions per 90 minutes. The Dragons will need more of the same from the 25-year-old if they are to progress further than the group stage.
Club: Fulham (on loan from Leeds United)
Daniel James has emerged as a crucial player in the Wales attack recently. The winger is known for his speed and started every match in qualifying, chipping in with two key goals against the Czech Republic and assists against Belarus and Belgium.
The 25-year-old is another within the squad who played at Euro 2020, where he started all four matches. He highlighted how much of a threat he can be in that tournament, averaging 2.5 key passes, 1.5 successful dribbles and one shot per game while also drawing 1.8 fouls. Wales tend to rely on Bale and Ramsey for attacking output. But if James can replicate or improve his performances in Qatar, it gives The Dragons an even bigger attacking threat.
Bet on all Wales matches in Qatar with our World Cup Betting markets over in our BetVictor Sportsbook.
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