‘Rogic has Premier League quality so Qatar is a shock’ – Celtic star’s transfer call surprises Australia coach Meulensteen

Tom Rogic Celtic
The former Manchester United assistant, who now works alongside Graham Arnold with the Socceroos, has questioned the talented midfielder’s thinking

Tom Rogic’s decision to leave Celtic for Qatar has come as a surprise to Australia coach Rene Meulensteen, as he feels that the 27-year-old midfielder has “Premier League quality”.

Rather than moving south when he leaves Scotland, it appears as though the Socceroos star will instead be heading for the Middle East.

Rogic is reported to have an agreement in place that will take him away from Parkhead after seven years in Glasgow. He had been tied to a contract by the Hoops through to 2023, with a desire on their part to retain the services of a player who has been a productive creative influence when fit.

Both club and player are, however, now pulling in different directions and Meulensteen is surprised to see the decision taken to head away from Britain by a player who still has so much to offer.

The former Manchester United assistant manager, who now works alongside Graham Arnold with the Australia national side, said in the Daily Record: “I’m really quite surprised a Premier League club, or a top Championship team, or even a team elsewhere in Europe that’s pushing for Champions League or Europe League hasn’t come for him.

“He’s at a great age and has fantastic qualities and is tactically also very intelligent. Used well, in the right system, he can be a big asset for a lot of teams.

“He has Premier League quality, but you need to adapt in your mindset because stepping onto the pitch at Celtic you know you’re probably going to win. That’s not the case in the Premier League where you have to do far more without the ball and it’s a lot more demanding.

“It’s about being adaptable and deciding to graft every day in training because there are no easy games at that level. I don’t see an issue with Tom being able to do that and perhaps he does have other things on the table, but if Qatar has come calling then there will also be a financial benefit for him in what is probably an under-rated and under-appreciated competition.

“The standard of the league in Qatar has jumped in recent years and they’ve invested heavily in local talent and not just foreigners. Top players like Xavi and Ronald de Boer played there, and so many others.

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“The stadiums are new, getting around is easy in a small country and the league is played when the heat’s not so bad. In terms of resources and environment, it’s excellent, and I don’t think Tom’s game would suffer by going there.

“Tom's been at Celtic a long time. He loves the club and has won a lot of trophies there. I’ve asked him previously whether he’d like to move to the Premier League but I think he’s always been content at Celtic.

“Don’t forget they’re a huge club and you can never under-estimate winning, it’s the greatest feeling. You can never get enough. But now, where he’s limited with his game time, he might see this as an opportunity to try something different.”