Stagnating Socceroos need more players like Arzani - Schwarzer

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The wonderkid is coming back from injury and his compatriot is excited to see him develop into a player to help the Socceroos

Australia's legendary goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer thinks that his country will quickly become reliant on Daniel Arzani's pace and trickery as they rebuild a new generation of footballer.

The Socceroos barely made it to the 2018 World Cup as they struggled in their qualification campaign and once in Russia couldn't make it out of their group as they try to find new talent to replace outgoing legends.

Tim Cahill's retirement after the tournament symbolised the end of an era as what was dubbed the 'golden generation' for the nation left the game. Schwarzer was a big part of that and became the record appearance maker with 109 caps.

The former Chelsea keeper is hoping Arzani makes a full recovery from his anterior cruciate ligament injury and shows why Manchester City signed him after the World Cup before being loaned out to Celtic.

"Daniel Arzani is one of those players who has been incredibly exciting and particularly leading up to the World Cup in 2018," Schwarzer told Goal.

"He had a phenomenal breakthrough season in the A-League.

"He didn't play enough games over 90 minutes, which is something he needs to build on. The Celtic move is one which I am not sure is the best move for him just yet. But it is about playing games and continuing to develop.

"His injury came at the very worst time as he just arrived and got his first opportunity to play from the start. It was not only unfortunate for his career at Celtic but also for Australia. I just hope that he can get back to the level he was at before his injury.

"He is a huge emerging talent from Australia. That's why Man City signed him. I know he was at their sister club in Melbourne. He is a huge talent. He is very unpredictable. We haven't had a player like that for a very long time.

"He has no fear on the ball. He is prepared to take players on. Drop a shoulder number of times and use a burst of pace. He does that effortlessly. He has a low centre of gravity, so it enables him to be nimble and quick. I hope his injury doesn’t affect that side of his game."

Australia need more than just Arzani though and Schwarzer is concerned about the lack of Australian talent playing in top leagues.

"Firstly, in international football, you continually evolve," he said.

"We had a big part of our squad that stuck around for a long time then left and that change was always going to be difficult. There is a whole lot of retirement over a short period of time. The adjustment is huge.

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"We have stagnated a bit in terms of the players we are developing. I mean we don’t have many players playing at the highest level in Europe. We only have a select few. In the past, we had 10 to 12 in the best leagues in Europe.

"We are nowhere near as spoiled for choice as we used to be. So it is a tough job and a job that needs a lot of coaching and prep work to develop the players we have. We need to turn them into better players."

Mark Schwarzer provides expert comment for Optus Sport which is the exclusive Australian broadcaster of the Premier League, UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League.

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