Reviewing our predictions from the TFA 22 for 22 Magazine – data analysis
For the past three years, each and every writer at Total Football Analysis has banded together to compile a list of names, from players to coaches, that we predict will have massive futures across both the men’s and women’s game.
The first rendition of the series began in January 2020. Some of the prodigious names on the list at the beginning of the decade included Julian Nagelsmann, Erling Haaland, Erik ten Hag, Sam Kerr, Martin Ødegaard, and Eduardo Camavinga.
Some of these players and coaches boast a wealth of titles and accolades already while the jury is still out on others. But hey, we can’t always be right!
Then, 2021 rolled around and once more, the TFA crew drew up an illustrious list to predict the future pioneers of the sport on and off the pitch.
Casey Stoney, Joško Gvardiol, Pernille Harder, Roberto De Zerbi, Jude Bellingham and Rúben Amorim were some more names chosen by our knowledgeable contributors.
Of course, in 2022, we went with the same approach, looking at eleven more coaches and players to keep an eye out for over the span of the year in the TFA 22 for 22 magazine.
With TFA 23 for 23 set to hit your virtual shelves next week, let’s take a look at our predictions for 2022, analysing each of the 22 names on the list and seeing whether our choices have done as well as we projected this time last year through an analysis of the data available to us.
1. Vincenzo Italiano
First up on the list is Vincenzo Italiano. The 45-year-old had a rapid rise to stardom in the coaching world. Despite being in charge of Serie C side Trapani in 2019, Italiano was going to battle with some of the greatest coaches in Italian football just a year later with Spezia in Serie A.
Having successfully avoided the drop with the Ligurian club at the end of the 2020/21 campaign, Italiano was snapped up by fallen giants Fiorentina.
The Florence-based side had been on a downward trajectory for many seasons, flying through manager after manager in the hopes of finding the man who could steer the ship in the right direction.
Italiano has managed to do so thus far. In his debut campaign at the Stadio Artemio Franchi, Fiorentina finished in seventh place, just one point behind Jose Mourinho’s Europa Conference League-winning AS Roma.
In doing so, Fiorentina qualified for the UECL, ending the season 22 points better off than the year prior.
While we’re only halfway through the current campaign, I Viola are sitting in tenth but have progressed to the knockout phase in Europe, providing extra income for the club and scoring goals aplenty despite actually underperforming their xG this year by quite an amount.
Fiorentina’s football is like champagne at times within a possession-oriented 4-3-3/4-2-3-1, and with players such as Luka Jovic up top, FIFA World Cup hero Sofyan Amrabat in midfield, and Serbian rock Nikola Milenkovic at the back, Italiano has well and truly stabilised the ship.
It’s only fair that we claim this one as a correct prediction!
2. Henrik Rydström
2022 has been a wonderful year for Henrik Rydström, albeit a melancholy one.
Rydström made his debut for Kalmar FF in 1993 and went on to captain the side, making over 800 appearances in the process.
Having started out as a youth team coach, the club legend built up his reputation in the dugout and eventually was handed the role as men’s first-team manager in 2020 after a brief stint with IK Sirius.
Within a year of Rydström taking charge of the Swedish side, Kalmar’s possession statistics rocketed from around 44 percent to a jaw-dropping 57 percent.
Rydström implemented his vision onto the team with ease as Kalmar quickly became one of the most entertaining sides to watch in the Allsvenskan.
Aggressive out of possession and willing to press high up the pitch, scintillating on the ball, looking to dominate games and be the protagonist, while also being effective on the break – Kalmar were a joy to watch.
From Kalmar’s defensive territory map last season, it’s evident just how high up the pitch the Swedish side pressed given that the average defensive line height is around the halfway mark.
It may not come as a surprise that Rydström has already moved up to the next rung on the ladder, taking over from Miloš Milojević at Swedish giants Malmö FF after his dismissal in the summer.
Rydström’s tenure hasn’t gotten underway just yet as the Allsvenskan ends before the winter begins but be sure to keep an eye out for how the giants recover from last season’s struggles under his tutelage.
Again, we’ll put this prediction down as a success but succeeding with Malmö will be a true test of whether we were correct or not.
3. Paolo Zanetti
Paolo Zanetti had an interesting 2022. When the piece for TFA 22 for 22 was written, the former Torino midfielder was in charge of Venezia, having helped the Venetian club to promotion from Serie B.
Venezia were playing some fabulous football and had just beaten Mourinho’s Roma 3-2 in a five-goal thriller, with many pinpointing Zanetti as one for the future, including us, given that he was one of the youngest coaches in the top-five leagues.
However, things quickly went downhill, and Zanetti was eventually dismissed from his post in Venice after losing eight games straight, leaving the newly-promoted outfit bottom of Serie A and looking hopeless for survival.
Zanetti’s sacking seemed inevitable as tensions were rising at the Pier Luigi Penzo Stadium. Back in March, in a 2-0 defeat to Sampdoria, Zanetti saw red on and off the pitch.
The young coach had repeatedly warned his forward Thomas Henry to stop protesting refereeing decisions as he was already booked. The Frenchman didn’t listen and was sent off late in the match, causing Zanetti to scream obscenities at the player and even grab him by the shirt in anger. Zanetti was suspended and was sacked merely weeks later.
Nonetheless, the 40-year-old was offered another chance in the top flight by his former playing club Empoli who were impressed with Venezia’s brave and expansive style of play last season, hiring Zanetti in the summer.
So far, Empoli are sitting in a respectable thirteenth, ten clear from the drop which is certainly a positive. Unfortunately, the Italian minnows are struggling to score goals despite Zanetti’s possession-oriented philosophy, boasting the third-lowest number of goals in Serie A this season.
Zanetti is still a really young coach at just 40 and so there is plenty of time remaining for him to succeed at the highest level. For now though, we won’t call our prediction a success just yet.
4. Marcelo Gallardo
You’ll struggle to find a more highly decorated manager in South America right now than Marcelo Gallardo.
A three-time South American coach of the year, Gallardo’s River Plate were the champions of Argentina when the TFA 22 for 22 magazine was published, having won the Argentine Primera División just a few months prior.
However, now, Gallardo is taking a sabbatical and awaiting his next adventure in the dugout, having stood down from his post just a few weeks ago.
Having spent the guts of eight years with the Argentinian giants, winning fourteen trophies, and bringing through rising talents such as World Cup winners Julián Álvarez and Enzo Fernández, Gallardo would be an excellent appointment for any club.
His name is continuously popping up when vacant positions arise at European sides, and it seems to be just a matter of time before the two-time Copa Libertadores winning manager makes the leap across the pond to battle it out with some of the greatest minds in the sport.
The tactically flexible coach with a pulsating love for transitional football would be a superb addition to the dugout for any side in the top five European leagues and let’s hope our dreams can come true sooner rather than later.
Gallardo was a safe choice from us. He was an undeniable success, so we shall claim it as a hesitant victory, but a true test of his managerial ability is whether the 46-year-old can succeed in Europe just like his compatriot Diego Simeone and inspiration Marcelo Bielsa.
5. Mersad Selimbegović
Mersad Selimbegović was a rogue shout from us but is a coach that we believe has quite a lot of potential.
Having worked as the assistant manager of Achim Beierlorzer at Jahn Regensburg, Selimbegović eventually became the head coach after Beierlorzer left to take over FC Köln in the Bundesliga.
Selimbegović was 37 when he first took charge of the German minnows and at 40, he is still going strong in the same dugout.
What makes Selimbegović stand out the most among the wealth of top, upcoming coaches in Germany is that he somewhat goes against the grain.
In a nation spearheaded by the tactical innovations of Jürgen Klopp, Ralf Rangnick and Julian Nagelsmann and their high-pressing methods, Selimbegović’s side have preferred to sit lower on the pitch, consistently being one of the lowest-pressing teams in the 2. Bundesliga since his appointment.
As the data viz above shows, Jahn Regensburg’s average defensive line this season is well inside their own half, with very few defensive actions occurring around the penalty area.
When we wrote about Selimbegović last January, Jahn Regensburg were healthily sitting just two points from the third-place playoff spot in the second division which was an incredible feat, although it was just a few months into the league season.
Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst and Jahn Regensburg eventually ended the campaign in 15th after a torrid second half of the season. This time around, the side are in twelfth which is a slight improvement, but it could worsen as the season progresses.
We can’t claim Selimbegović as a successful prediction yet, but he’s certainly still a young coach with a lot to give.
6. Alessio Dionisi
Alessio Dionisi had massive shoes to fill when taking over from Roberto De Zerbi in the dugout at Sassuolo.
The Neroverdi had been playing some of the most scintillating football in Serie A for the past few seasons and the supporters and board demanded the same from their new appointment.
Dionisi had just been promoted to Serie A with Empoli prior to accepting the Sassuolo job but couldn’t pass up the opportunity to coach one of the most exciting projects in Italian football.
The 42-year-old didn’t change much in terms of the team’s style of play, although De Zerbi was far more rigid with his system. Nevertheless, Dionisi maintained the side’s 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 hybrid and continued the emphasis on ball retention.
In his first season with Sassuolo, the Neroverdi finished eleventh but had preserved their record of being one of the league’s primary entertainers, being the sixth-highest scorers in the top-flight division.
However, this season, things have gradually digressed for Sassuolo. The goals have dried up and Dionisi’s men are sitting merely three places above the drop zone with the young coach under increasing pressure.
After fifteen matches, Sassuolo have bagged just fifteen goals, with one coming from the penalty spot. The minnows are underperforming their xG too.
Dionisi is a fabulous coach and one that still has a massive future ahead of him, but the team’s struggles since the back end of last season mean we can’t claim our prediction as a victory just yet.
7. Mark Parsons
Like Dionisi, Mark Parsons also had gargantuan shoes to fill, although on a much larger scale.
Sarina Wiegman stood down from her position as the Netherlands head coach to manage England Women, which was a wonderful decision on her behalf.
Parsons, an Englishman himself, was chosen as Wiegman’s successor, but the former Chelsea reserves boss was anything but a success.
The ex-Portland Thorns manager was tasked with defending the Netherlands’ crown at WEURO 2022 after Wiegman guided her nation to glory five years prior.
Before the tournament commenced, Parsons had been in charge for merely 14 matches in total, winning eight times.
There were reservations heading into the competition, centred around supposed unrest within the squad with ageing players, and Dutch fans’ fears quickly turned into reality.
The Netherlands were defeated by France in the first knockout round by a goal to nil and bowed out after failing to defend their crown, creating very few opportunities throughout the match.
Parsons left his role as the national team head coach just under three weeks later, deeming it ‘the hardest job in women’s football’.
It wasn’t a great year for Parsons all things considered and so we can’t claim this as a victory, but the 36-year-old has since returned to the dugout once more with the Washington Spirit and so his fortunes are looking up.
8. Simon Weaver
When the TFA 22 for 22 magazine was released, Simon Weaver was in his thirteenth year of managing Harrogate Town. Now, he has entered his fourteenth.
Weaver’s managerial career has been the complete opposite as a head coach compared to his time as a player.
As a player, the defender appeared for 15 clubs in 14 years. As a manager, he has been with one in 14. Weaver has spent just as much time as a professional manager now as he did when playing but can still be classified as a young manager, being merely 45.
In 2020, Weaver guided Harrogate Town to the Football League for the first time ever and has stabilised the club, keeping them in the division for three seasons now.
Weaver was included in our list last season because Harrogate had the lowest squad valuation in League Two but were outperforming both their xG and xGA.
Furthermore, Harrogate Town stood out for being one of the highest-pressing sides in the league, particularly in their counterpressing. Nothing much has changed in this regard.
Weaver’s side are currently one place below last season’s finish and are in the middle of a relegation battle, but the club legend is fighting above his means right now in League Two once more.
Weaver has proven himself to be a formidable coach even on the lowest of budgets and so has a bright future ahead, whether it be at Harrogate Town or elsewhere. We’ll claim this one as a win since we haven’t had one in a while!
9. Bo Svensson
Mainz have a fruitful history of creating world-class coaches. In each of the last four UEFA Champions League finals, there has been a former Mainz boss sitting in one of the dugouts.
Of course, we are referring to both Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, two titans of football management who won the illustrious European competition in 2019 and 2021 respectively while finishing as the runners-up in 2020 and 2022.
The next Mainz head coach tipped for greatness, albeit by us, is Bo Svensson. In his first full season in charge of the Bundesliga club, the Swedish coach guided his team to eighth in the table.
What was even more impressive was that Mainz boasted the fourth-best defensive record in Germany’s top-flight division.
Svensson has impressed in Deutschland, leading the charge of the country’s next generation of top coaches.
Lauded for his tactical flexibility and astuteness, Svensson’s side play a very transition-heavy style of football, centred around pressing high and working tirelessly off the ball – a method very common with the German school of coaching.
The side’s high defensive line from this season tells you all you need to know about Svensson’s coaching philosophy.
Mainz are struggling a little more this time around and are currently tenth on the table but are still merely six points from the European spots up for grabs in the Bundesliga, and with a restricted budget, Svensson is killing it at the MEWA Arena.
We’re definitely claiming this one as a victorious prediction and believe Svensson is a name that will become household in the coming years.
10. Matthias Jaissle
A nice segue to the next manager is to look at the man who replaced Svensson at FC Liefering – Matthias Jaissle.
After just a season with the feeder club of Salzburg, Jaissle replaced Jesse Marsch at the best team in Austria. Any man who is managing a club in the Champions League at 33 is a special talent, particularly when you consider the number of players in the competition who are actually older.
Jaissle helped Salzburg retain the title in his first season but what was more impressive was that the young coach became the first man to lead the side to the knockout phase of the Champions League.
The Austrian champions were defeated heavily by Bayern Munich in the Last-16 but did manage a 1-1 draw with the Bavarian giants in the first leg.
Once again, this season, Jaissle has led his men to the knockouts of a European competition, qualifying for the Round of 32 of the UEFA Europa League through Champions League relegation.
His style of play, which is quite typical of the Red Bull school of coaching, has caught the eye of viewers, including us here at TFA as Salzburg are top the league’s goalscoring charts yet again.
Having won the title by fifteen points last season, Salzburg are already six clear this time around as Jaissle looks set to win the competition for a second time by his 35th birthday.
This has certainly been one of our best predictions from the TFA 22 for 22 magazine and it seems inevitable that Jaissle will leave for a top-five league very, very soon.
11. Jonatan Giráldez
Last up on our list of managers is Barcelona Femení boss Jonatan Giráldez. Upon publishing last year’s January magazine, Giráldez had just turned 30 and was already acting as the head coach of one of the biggest clubs in world football.
In fact, Giráldez was in charge of the champions of Europe which is an astronomical feat for somebody so young.
The former RCD Espanyol technical analyst had been working as the assistant manager to Lluís Cortés with the Catalan giants but made the step up after Cortés parted ways, leaving a highly inexperienced man in control of one of the continent’s titans.
Nonetheless, it was a masterstroke. Barcelona ended the campaign top of the league with 90 points from a possible 90. Yes, you read that correctly.
Furthermore, the Catalan club scored 159 and conceded merely 11. No, this isn’t a joke. Go and check it for yourself.
Barcelona also reached the UEFA Women’s Champions League final and were expected to retain their title from the season prior. Unfortunately, it all went wrong for them, and Lyon Féminin lifted the coveted crown with a 3-1 victory in Turin.
However, this season, Barcelona are just as strong as the last and have won 12 from 12 in the league already, sitting seven points clear, and are looking like strong favourites to reclaim the UWCL title.
In the current campaign, the number of goals that Giráldez’s side have bagged is unmatched around the continent, even with the absence of star player Alexia Putellas this season.
It’s fair to say that Giráldez was a pretty solid addition to our TFA 22 for 22 magazine and it would be a disgrace if he wasn’t considered a successful prediction despite the European disappointment in May.
12. Karim Adeyemi
The first player on our list is Karim Adeyemi. The German international had a meteoric rise at Salzburg under Matthias Jaissle, who was featured earlier on this list, and began to garner interest from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Prior to the TFA 22 for 22 magazine’s release last January, Adeyemi had been averaging more than one goal per 90 in all competitions for the Austrian champions.
Adeyemi’s style of play was perfect for the Red Bull model. The young forward has pace, power, an incredible knack of beating his man while dribbling and is also a menace up front.
It was no surprise that in the summer, Borussia Dortmund managed to win the youngster’s signature, pinning him to a lucrative deal at the Signal Iduna Park.
Dortmund have a wonderful track record of developing highly-rated talent and making them world-beaters before selling them on to bigger clubs for colossal fees. You just have to look to Erling Haaland, Ousmane Dembélé and Jadon Sancho to see this.
However, since the move to his homeland, Adeyemi has really struggled. Over the course of 2022, the 20-year-old has scored merely six goals in all competitions and has had very little game-time under Edin Terzić at Dortmund.
Adeyemi has underperformed his xG in 2022 and is not getting into many decent goalscoring positions, meaning his xG per shot numbers are quite grimacing.
What’s even more painful to observe is that just two of these goals have come since moving to Borussia Dortmund in the summer.
There is no doubt that Ademeyi has talent in abundance, but it is taking him quite a lot of time to settle in at his new club.
Despite his struggles, Hansi Flick opted to include him in the German squad for the FIFA World Cup, but the youngster didn’t receive a single minute of game-time in Qatar as the 2014 champions limped out in the group phase.
Hopefully Ademeyi has a better second half to the season with the Bundesliga giants, but our prediction hasn’t been a success just yet.
13. Calvin Ramsay
Scottish fullback Calvin Ramsay has followed a similar path to Adeyemi. When our writers picked the young defender as one of the rising stars of 2022, he was applying his trade with Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership.
The 2021/22 campaign was his breakout season, and Ramsay went on to become one of the first names on the Aberdeen teamsheet, winning the SFWA Young Player of the Year award at just 18 years of age.
Capable of playing as a right-back, right winger and in central midfield, with a wonderful cross and superb reading of the game while also being incredibly mature for his age, Ramsay had the season of his life despite Aberdeen’s failings on the pitch.
What ensued was a dream move to Anfield to UEFA Champions League finalists Liverpool for a reported fee of slightly over £4 million and it was believed that Ramsay would act as the backup to Trent Alexander-Arnold for the forthcoming campaign.
Unfortunately, things haven’t quite gone to plan. The now-19-year-old has made just two appearances for the English giants, failing to get any game-time in the Premier League thus far.
Joe Gomez and James Milner have been the preferred options for Klopp on the right side of the defence to cover for Alexander-Arnold. The primary reason for this was an injury which he sustained prior to the season even commencing which is incredibly frustrating for such a young player with hopes of making an impact for one of the biggest clubs in football.
Nevertheless, it’s not all been bad news for the teenager. Ramsay did recently make his international debut with Scotland in November and is now back fit and so has the potential to finish strongly in the second half of the season.
Ramsay can still make a big name for himself in Merseyside, and nobody is doubting his extraordinary ability on and off the ball. However, for reasons beyond his control, we can’t claim Ramsay as a successful prediction…yet.
14. Williot Swedberg
Like our last two additions, another youngster who got a massive move in the summer is Williot Swedberg.
Swedberg is a playmaking midfielder who is comfortable operating as a winger or a central midfielder, although he was primarily utilised out wide last season at Hammarby where he fully broke into the first-team.
The teenager excels between the lines and can receive under pressure with ease but also loves to get forward by making runs off the shoulder of the opposition’s defenders and getting himself into the penalty area to chip in with goals.
Swedberg’s style is quite similar to that of Manchester United’s Donny van de Beek, or even Bayern Munich’s Thomas Muller to an extent. One could even label the attack-minded midfielder as a ‘raumdeuter’, which directly translates to ‘space invader’ for his ability to find space and move into it.
Last season with the Allsvenskan club, Swedberg registered five goals in all competitions from just 28 shots which was an excellent return for such a young talent.
Hammarby had managed to fend off interest from other Scandinavian giants like Midtjylland by handing the youngster a new deal but couldn’t stop Swedberg from leaving when La Liga side Celta Vigo came calling in the summer.
Hammarby received a record-breaking transfer fee worth just over £4 million and Swedberg was on his way to Spain.
Like Ramsay and Adeyemi, Swedberg’s game-time since moving to a top-five league has been severely hampered and the Swede has made merely two appearances for the Spanish minnows, receiving just 72 minutes in total across these two matches.
Again, the first six months of 2022 were an overwhelming success for Swedberg but he has yet to have an impact since moving to a bigger club. The jury is still out on this one.
15. Mallory Pugh
Moving on to a prediction that was an overwhelming success, Mallory Pugh has had another fantastic season from an individual perspective.
A World Cup winner with the United States in 2019, Pugh has been improving year on year. Last season, the forward bagged 18 non-penalty goals in all competitions for club and country and significantly outperformed her xG by almost five goals.
Pugh was also the leading goalscorer in the SheBelieves Cup which the USWNT also won, while also receiving her 82nd cap for her country and achieving career-high numbers for goal contributions.
The 24-year-old is constantly improving and is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular players to watch in the NWSL with the Chicago Red Stars. There’s nothing much left to say other than that we’ll be claiming this one as our first victory of the players list.
16. James Hill
James Hill had been impressing with Fleetwood Town in the lower leagues of English football and had been linked with some of the top clubs in the country including Manchester United and Liverpool.
Capable of playing as a right centre-back and a right-back, Hill became the youngest debutant in Fleetwood’s history and went on to become a mainstay with the club by age 18.
In Fleetwood’s deep defensive line, Hill excelled and dominated his territory in a back four, with a special ability to defend the wide spaces due to his experience on the right.
His impressive performances earned him a move just days after the TFA 22 for 22 magazine was published. The youngster signed for AFC Bournemouth who were in the Championship at the time, vying for promotion back to the top flight.
Unfortunately, like Adeyemi, Ramsay and Swedberg, Hill’s game-time has been limited since moving to the Cherries, receiving just four appearances over the course of 2022.
There’s no doubt in our minds that Hill is a special talent and is incredibly mature for his age but may need a loan move so that his development doesn’t continue to stifle, particularly now that Bournemouth are back in the Premier League.
This is another TFA prediction that could work out in the future but hasn’t right away.
17. Jurriën Timber
Next up is a player that operates in very similar positions to Hill which is Ajax’s central defender Jurriën Timber who has had an exceptional year from an individual point of view.
When the TFA 22 for 22 magazine was released, Timber had just started to become a household name and had made his debut for the Netherlands a few months prior in a friendly before EURO 2020 commenced.
Timber quickly became one of the best on-the-ball centre-backs in Europe and was vital for Ajax to initiate attacks under Erik ten Hag.
While his in-possession qualities have made him stand out, one of Timber’s most underrated attributes is his aggression out of possession, allowing Ajax and the Dutch national team to successfully reclaim the ball upon losing it.
This is a superb asset for his club and country as Timber often ends up in the final third when his teams are counterpressing and is able to recoup the ball close to the opposition’s goal.
In the summer, Timber even came close to joining ten Hag at Manchester United, but a deal fell through in the end with the meddling of national team coach Louis van Gaal who warned the defender against moving to Old Trafford.
Nonetheless, the young defender has continued to perform well for Ajax and the Netherlands and was even a starter recently for his country at the World Cup.
It would be rude of us not to claim Timber’s addition as a win.
18. Julián Álvarez
Next up is a player that has possibly exceeded our expectations more than any other coach or player on this list.
Upon releasing the magazine in January, Julián Álvarez had been making waves in Argentina with his performances for River Plate and even made a handful of appearances for the national team.
Fast forward to December 2022, Álvarez is a World Cup winner and ended the tournament in Qatar as the joint-third highest goalscorer, behind Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe. Not bad company.
Furthermore, Álvarez got himself a huge move to Premier League champions Manchester City and has been acting as the understudy to Erling Haaland under Pep Guardiola.
This update will be brief, but the young striker has had an exceptional year, bagging 30 goals in all competitions for club and country and lifting the most prestigious prize in the sport.
There are no questions about it: this was a successful prediction.
19. Jule Brand
Another player who has had a massive year from an individual perspective is Germany’s Jule Brand.
Having played exceptionally well in the Frauen Bundesliga with Hoffenheim, the 19-year-old managed to get a move to VfL Wolfsburg prior to WEURO 2022.
At the European Championships, Brand played a big part as the German national team reached the final, losing out to England in extra-time, but a runners-up medal in one of the greatest competitions in football at just 19 is never a feat to be laughed at.
What stands out about Brand is her versatility, capable of playing on the left or right-wing as well as in the midfield or at the back too.
Her heatmap for Wolfsburg this season, where she primarily plays as a left-winger, proves just how hard she works, getting up and down the flank constantly and often arriving in the opposition’s box.
Brand is one of the best up-and-comers in the women’s game and has already become a mainstay under Martina Voss-Tecklenburg in the national side.
2022 was a big year for the versatile youngster and we have been ecstatic with her development so far, meaning, of course, we’re going to claim her addition as a successful prediction from the TFA 22 for 22 magazine.
20. Andreas Schjelderup
One of the final names from the magazine was Andreas Schjelderup who had a stellar start to the 2021/22 campaign.
FC Nordsjælland have a fine track record of signing youngsters from all over the world before selling them on for profit such as Rennes and Ghana’s World Cup star Kamaldeen Sulemana. Schjelderup is just another excellent young acquisition by the Danish Superliga team.
Schjelderup had broken into the Danish side at just 17. Also, at the same time, he received his first call-up to the Norwegian U21s which is an incredible achievement.
Unlike others on this list, Schjelderup didn’t get a big summer move, although it seems like it’s just a matter of time before he does.
The 18-year-old is having another excellent campaign in Denmark, even better than last season, scoring ten goals for Nordsjælland, including seven non-penalty goals.
While it’s still early days into his development, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Schjelderup move to a top-five league, following in the footsteps of Sulemana, especially with the January transfer window on the horizon.
For now, we’ll claim this one as a small victory, but the Norwegian winger will need to choose his next career move wisely.
21. Darwin Núñez
Undoubtedly the most expensive name from our TFA 22 for 22 magazine is Darwin Núñez. After another excellent campaign with Portuguese giants Benfica, Núñez made the leap of faith by signing for Liverpool for a fee said to be upwards of £80 million.
Núñez was killing it with Benfica at the time and continued to do so right through to the end of the season when he got his big move to Anfield.
Many were curious to see how the Uruguayan fared in England’s top-flight, particularly in a side like Liverpool who have notoriously shied away from using a target man archetype up top during the Klopp era.
Núñez scored in his first two matches with the Reds in the Charity Shield and in the opening Premier League clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage, leading many to believe that the Uruguay international would hit the ground running straight away.
Unfortunately, a red card in the next match was followed by a barren spell of almost two months. However, Núñez has finally started to find his form once more, albeit rather inconsistently.
Nevertheless, the striker’s goalscoring record with the six-time European champions has still looked quite good in the 2022/23 campaign despite ongoing criticism of his finishing ability.
Regardless, we’re claiming our prediction of Núñez as a success because he has still been contributing with goals at Liverpool, even if supporters have become frustrated with some of his displays.
22. Amine Gouiri
And last but not least, TFA predicted that Amine Gouri would be another star to watch out for in 2022.
Gouiri is a highly-rated forward in French football, applying his trade with UEFA Europa League side Rennes. The Ligue 1 minnows have a history of producing top talents, such as Eduardo Camavinga, and Gouiri looks to be the next household name to move on to bigger and better things.
The 22-year-old is one of the most all-rounded players on the list. Capable of working hard off the ball, creating chances for others and being a menace in front of goal, Gouiri has it all and has arguably become Rennes’ most important player this season.
In the previous campaign, Gouiri scored twelve goals in all competitions, which included three penalties, bringing his non-penalty goals tally to nine in total.
This time around, the Frenchman has already scored eight for Rennes in all competitions with none coming from the penalty spot.
In the second half of the season, it is likely that Gouiri will smash last season’s tally out of the park and has already garnered interest from clubs such as West Ham United as well as Real Madrid, although the latter may be a bit of a stretch from the papers.
Nonetheless, Gouiri has had a sensational 2022 from an individual point of view and will likely get himself a lucrative move in the coming six months if he continues his goalscoring record in France.
This one has certainly been a successful prediction and is a nice way to wrap up the TFA 22 for 22 magazine review.
What a year it’s been for football. From Real Madrid winning the Champions League in extraordinary fashion by doggedly stumbling through PSG, Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool to Lionel Messi and Argentina lifting the World Cup which was oddly in winter, 2022 has been a treat for the sport.
Our predictions from the start of the year were bold and the fruits may not have been reaped just yet, but we think we did a decent job of predicting who the breakout managers and players would be for the calendar year.
With the TFA 23 for 23 magazine already having its ‘I’s dotted and ‘T’s crossed, keep an eye out for who our writers believe will be the top players and coaches to watch out for over the forthcoming year.
We can’t promise they’ll all be a success, but who cares? You won’t remember by next December, but we’ll make sure to remind you of the successful ones!