Archie Thompson: Why Socceroos must take Daniel Arzani to the World Cup

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The former Socceroo is adamant the young gun must be taken to Russia

He's yet to play a single minute for the Socceroos, but Daniel Arzani must be in Australia's World Cup squad according to Archie Thompson.

The former Socceroos striker knows a thing or two about attacking talent having struck 27 times for Australia, and believes Arzani is exactly what the green and gold will need in Russia.

After a breakout season with Melbourne City, Arzani was included in Bert van Marwijk's preliminary World Cup squad and should make his Socceroos debut against the Czech Republic on Friday night.

It could be a make-or-break game for the 19-year-old with four players to be cut from the Socceroos squad just days later, but Thompson is in no doubt that Arzani should be included in the final 23-man squad. 

"You can actually see he's a smarter player now," Thompson said.

"He wanted to go out there and obviously take on five players plus the security guard and a couple of the guys behind the counter that served the pies, but now you see as a player his all-round game - he looks to bring players in, he takes one or two on then looks to offload.

"What we don’t have in that Socceroos team is players that can turn the game on its head.

"I think him being part of that 23 would be great for the team. When you’re playing in a Socceroos team with Australia’s best, you step up another level, you go to another level."

Daniel Arzani Socceroos 2018

Arzani has certainly taken the A-League stage by storm, earning a NAB young footballer of the year nomination for January after breaking on to the scene under Warren Joyce.

The 19-year-old made 18 appearances for the senior City side scoring two goals and played a key part in the side's route to the semi-finals.

Set for at least one more season in the A-League, Thompson is adamant the sky's the limit for Arzani, who shouldn't be too put off should he not make it to this World Cup.

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"I believe he’s only going to get better," he said.

"If he doesn’t make this 23 he’s got youth on his side. He’s very mature, level headed and he’s got a very bright future.

"He’s going to have an amazing career and a Socceroos career."

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