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Did the Socceroos overlook Rukavytsya too soon?

05:39 GMT+4 10/01/2019
Nikita Rukavytsya Socceroos
The attacker is in fine club form right now

With three goals in his past three games for Israeli side Maccabi Haifa, Nikita Rukavytsya has shown what the Socceroos could be missing out on at the Asian Cup.

The 31 year old, who last played for Australia against Colombia in March last year, has fallen off the national team radar since Graham Arnold's appointment.

While the Socceroos coach is rightly looking to bring in the next generation of green and gold attackers, it could be argued Rukavytsya has been discarded too soon.

Though he never really established himself in the national team, scoring once across 18 appearances which were largely off the bench, the attacker has been in red-hot form for Haifa.

Deployed recently as a centre forward, Rukavytsya has scored the winning goal in his past three appearances including a stunning free-kick last time out against Maccabi Petah Tikva.

One of few Aussies to be scoring regularly in Europe this season, his versatility in the front three has also seen Rukavytsya deployed on both wings for Haifa.

With Arnold eager to utilise a dynamic attacking trio up front, Rukavytsya would have been able to slot in wherever he was needed for the Socceroos. 

Whether he was in fact on Arnold's extended squad list remains to be seen, but on present form it's hard to argue that Rukavytsya doesn't deserve some attention. 

He's not the only one of course, with Craig Goodwin and Terry Antonis just two other players that could count themselves unlucky not to be lining up in the UAE