News Live Scores

Five reasons Daniel Arzani needs to be picked in the Socceroos' World Cup squad

06:01 WAT 22/05/2018
Daniel Arzani Socceroos
The young gun is a weapon Australia can't afford to leave behind

Daniel Arzani has been the name on every Australian football fans lips ahead of the 2018 World Cup, and rightly so.

The Melbourne City attacker took the A-League by storm this season, combining flashy skills with some impressive technique to help his club to third place.

Though he may be fresh off his first senior club campaign and is still a teenager, Arzani is a player that needs to be on the plane to Russia for the Socceroos and Goal puts forward five reasons why he shouldn't be one of three players to get the cut come June.

1. A Socceroos X-Factor

Arzani first really announced himself in the A-League when he came off the bench for City against Wellington Phoenix in early January.

With his side trailing 1-0, the slick-footed winger terrorised Wellington's defence and played a part in both goals, including a pin-point cross for Ross McCormack's winner, in an eventual 2-1 win. 

That was the start of more to come from the teenager, who finished the season with 18 appearances, two goals, three assists and countless nutmegs.

While his fitness let him down somewhat as a starter, Arzani's ability to come off the bench and change a match is exactly what the Socceroos need in Russia.

With Tim Cahill likely bringing some assured experience from the bench, the teenager can bring youthful exuberance to the pitch when called upon and is a player that really can create something out of nothing. Exactly what Socceroos will likely have to work with in Russia. 

2. Versatility

He's made the right wing his own for City, but Arzani is a weapon that can be utilised across the Socceroos midfield.

Whether it be on the left wing, allowing him to cut inside, or as roaming attacking midfielder, Arzani has experience playing across the pitch and certainly the talent to fill in where needed.

Looking at the 26-man Socceroos squad as it stands, the youngster offers some genuine positional flexibility, which is exactly what Bert van Marwijk is after.

Unlike James Troisi and Nikita Rukavytsya, who are a bit more limited in terms of positioning, Arzani is a chess piece worth hanging onto when 26 becomes 23 on June 3

 3. Personality

The youngster's bold selection of Paul Pogba as the player he'd most like to nutmeg in Russia may came across as a little arrogant, but that little bit of daring is exactly what Australian football is in desperate need of.

As the game struggles for a clear identity and future Down Under, Arzani's sheer self-confidence is a shining light that highlights there's nothing wrong with aiming for the sky.

Sure there's a line of arrogance Arzani must be careful not to cross, but not only does he appear intelligent enough not to, he can also back up most of his comments with talent.

In a world of media-trained footballers, it's refreshing to see Arzani speak his still youthful mind and his presence in Russia would be a big boost for fans and players alike possibly in need of some reassuring. 

4. Priceless experience

Arzani has learned a fair amount over the past nine months, but the lessons he stands to be taught in Russia cannot be underestimated.

While there's a cast of Socceroos veterans that have been there and done it all before, going to a World Cup at just 19 is an experience that should set Arzani up for an even brighter future.

Instead of bringing along the reliable but now predictable Mark Milligan for example, why not let Arzani mix it with the world's best and spend a month in a camp that could well change his footballing life.

5. Building for the future among a cast of veterans

It might not be a part of van Marwijk's short-term Socceroos mandate, but including Arzani in the World Cup squad would be planting an ideal seed for the future.

With seven players in the current extended squad aged over 30, having one teenager in the group means someone is at least learning off all that experience.

There's little doubt that Arzani stands to play a big part for the green and gold going forward, and now is the time to get the talented midfielder going. 

In frame for a Socceroos debut on June 1 against Czech Republic, the confident midfielder will need to let his football do the talking as he looks to seal what would be a well-earned spot on the plane to Russia.