World Cup: EFL ballers on their way to Qatar
Over half of the 32 squads for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar have been announced, with players leaving their clubs from across the globe to link up with their national teams.
As is common practice – bar the few exceptions – the vast majority of squads have players applying their trade overseas, mostly in the top leagues like the Premier League.
So, out of the 18 squads announced, how many of those players are currently employed by clubs playing in the lower leagues of English football?
Out of the 18 squads announced, 6 of them feature EFL players, four of which play in League One or Two: Australia, Costa Rica, Poland, the United States and Wales.
The Dragons have the most EFL representation by far, having 13 players from their 26-man squad play in the leagues below. Defender and record cap-holder Chris Gunter plays for AFC Wimbledon in League Two, as well as Swindon Town’s Jonny Williams. Portsmouth’s Joe Morrell and MK Dons’ Matt Smith are Cymru’s League One representation.
Tom Lockyer and Ethan Horvath are teammates turned enemies, both swapping Luton Town for Group B, playing for Wales and the USMNT respectively.
As well as the hatters, Cardiff, Swansea and Sunderland have more than one player going to Qatar, the latter including Costa Rican wonderkid Jewison Bennette of the Black Cats.
It is uncertain how many players from the EFL will join those already named, as the nations yet to announce their squads are mostly consisting of elite players in the top leagues. Below is the full list of footballers announced at the World Cup so far:
- Adam Davies (Sheffield United)
- Ben Cabango (Swansea City)
- Tom Lockyer (Luton Town)
- Chris Gunter (AFC Wimbledon)
- Connor Roberts (Burnley)
- Sorba Thomas (Huddersfield Town)
- Joe Allen (Swansea City)
- Matthew Smith (MK Dons)
- Joe Morrell (Portsmouth)
- Jonny Williams (Swindon Town)
- Rubin Colwill (Cardiff City)
- Mark Harris (Cardiff City)
- Seny Dieng (QPR)
- Mamdou Loum (Reading)
- Ilimane Ndiaye (Sheffield United)
- Ismalia Sarr (Watford)
- Harry Souttar (Stoke)
- Bailey Wright (Sunderland)
- Riley McGree (Middlesbrough)
- Ethan Horvath (Luton Town)
- Josh Sargent (Norwich City)
- Krystian Bielik (Birmingham City)
COSTA RICA: 1
- Jewison Bennette (Sunderland)