Daniel Arzani is good enough to start for Australia against Peru but faces a completely different challenge if given the chance, according to former Socceroo Josip Skoko.
Arzani, 19, has drawn praise after an impressive cameo in Australia’s 1-1 draw against Denmark.
That display, in which the Melbourne City attacker provided the Socceroos with a spark and plenty of creativity, has led to calls for the teenager to start in his side’s must-win clash against Peru on Tuesday.
Skoko, a 51-time Australia international, feels Arzani – capped four times – may be ready, but said the winger would encounter different tests if he is included in Bert van Marwijk’s XI.
“Starting is a totally different kettle of fish. It’s one thing coming on and playing for 30, it’s another thing playing 90,” he told Omnisport.
“I’m not here to say yes or no, but I certainly think he deserves some game time like he has been, maybe a little bit more each game.
“To start him, it might go the other way, it might not do him justice if he’s underprepared or whatever.
“I think he’s good enough to do the job if they start him, I’m sure he’d do well. Again, it’s what the team needs in terms of balance and how they’re setting up and things like that, but whatever happens, I’m sure he’ll provide a spark in any which way.”
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Arzani has enjoyed a rapid rise, already linked with a move to European giants Juventus after just 24 A-League games for City.
Skoko said Arzani – who already has an international goal – was a unique talent playing without fear.
“I remember him playing a friendly game at the start of this year against [Victorian club] North Geelong on the second pitch there at Melbourne City and he looked so good, so sharp, and then having a great season with Melbourne City. That’s how it happens,” he said.
“You can see the boy’s ready, you can see he’s physically there, he’s got the youthful exuberance, he takes on players without any fear and that’s exactly what we need, players like that, we don’t have too many. He just glides by players.
“I think it was a really, really good call to bring him into the squad and to get him onto the pitch because he gives that little bit of X-factor. All I can say is good on the lad and I hope there’s more like him to come.”
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