Daniel Arzani is back on the park for Celtic.
Daniel Arzani is back on the park for Celtic.

Duva’s XI: Arzani made right career call

Australian youngster Daniel Arzani is back playing for Celtic after returning from a knee injury.

Football Federation Australia needs to outmaneuver a rival nation for the services of Olyroos matchwinner Al Hassan Toure, and another Matildas star has joined England's women's league.

Plus, Melbourne United has hit a snag in its bid to sign Marco Rojas.

Here's David Davutovic take on the 11 biggest topics in football over the past week.

 

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1. ARZANI'S CELTIC BREAKTHROUGH

Daniel Arzani's decision to reject a loan move back to the A-League appears justified after he made his long-awaited Celtic return on Sunday.

Arzani replaced Tom Rogic in the dying minutes of the 2-1 win against Partick Thistle in the fourth round of the Scottish FA Cup.

It was the 21-year-old's first senior appearance in 15 months after injuring his knee on his Celtic debut.

Returning to the A-League was the easy option for Arzani. The Scottish Premiership may not be as strong as it once was, but breaking into Celtic's team remains some feat.

Arzani appears to be in the first XI thoughts of manager Neil Lennon. If he can become a regular, it sets him up to fulfil his enormous potential.

 

 

Daniel Arzani was a late substitution in his return for Celtic.
Daniel Arzani was a late substitution in his return for Celtic.

 

 

 

2. CAP AL HASSAN TOURE

The time to cap Al Hassan Toure is drawing closer after his matchwinner left the Olyroos within a game of Tokyo 2020 qualification.

Liberia said it would not give up on Toure, 19, after he pledged his international future to Australia.

And his goal against Syria has captured attention in his native country.

Toure, 19, came off the bench to score the extra-time winner with a clever run and finish that exploited poor defending.

Toure has scored seven goals in 14 games in all competitions in his debut season for Adelaide United.

Yes, Socceroo caps should be earned, but having lost so many players abroad, Football Federation Australia has to get street smart.

Until Toure plays for the senior side, Liberia has hope. Lock him in.

 

 

Al Hassan Toure in action for Adelaide United. Picture: AAP
Al Hassan Toure in action for Adelaide United. Picture: AAP

 

 

 

3. MATILDAS' TOKYO 2020 MISSION

In shades of the Socceroos' attempts to play a 1986 World Cup qualifier against Scotland in Darwin, Ante Milicic and the Matildas coaching staff want to exploit the climate on the road to the Olympics.

Townsville has been among the locations touted for a Tokyo 2020 two-leg playoff in March, should they make it.

The Matildas have avoided a trip to Pyongyang after North Korea withdrew from next month's qualifiers in China.

 

4. RASO'S STEP TO SUPERSTARDOM

Matildas flyer Hayley Raso is a step closer to fulfilling her potential, joining Women's Super League club Everton.

Seventeen months ago Raso feared she would never walk again after breaking her spine in three places playing for US club Portland Thorns.

Raso, 25, has scored three goals in 40 games for the Matildas, her blistering speed and physicality a feature.

If she can add more goals and assists to her game, she can become the Matildas' next world-class player.

 

 

English club Everton has signed Matildas star Hayley Raso. Picture: Getty Images
English club Everton has signed Matildas star Hayley Raso. Picture: Getty Images

 

 

 

5. ENGLAND RAIDING W-LEAGUE

The Women's Super League has signed three Aussies - and more will follow.

Raso joins Sam Kerr (Chelsea) and teenager Jacynta Galabadaarachchi (West Ham), while Caitlin Foord's move to Arsenal appears likely but is yet to be confirmed.

The Gunners had hoped to have Foord available for the overnight clash against Chelsea.

 

6. VICTORY'S RECRUITUNG DRAMA

The signing that could change the fortunes of Melbourne Victory's season remains on hold.

Victory must release a visa player before it can sign Marco Rojas.

Negotiations continue with Austrian attacker Kristijan Dobras, who was omitted from Victory's Asian Champions League squad.

Meanwhile, it's emerged that former Germany international Sidney Sam is one of the players Victory could have signed during a chaotic pre-season.

It's believed that sacked Victory coach Marco Kurz wanted Sam, 31, who he worked with at Kaiserslautern. Capped five times by Germany, Sam was deemed too injury prone.

The attacker has since scored twice in 10 games for Austrian side Rheindorf Altach.

 

 

 

Melbourne Victory has hit a snag in its bid to sign Marco Rojas. Picture: George Salpigtidis
Melbourne Victory has hit a snag in its bid to sign Marco Rojas. Picture: George Salpigtidis

 

 

7. STELLAR SYDNEY FC

The vibe at Sydney is such that clubs are struggling to prize away fringe Sky Blues.

It's one of the reasons coach Steve Corica is backing his fringe players led by Paolo Retre, Anthony Caceres and a band of kids (Harry van der Saag, Joel King and Ryan Teague) to step up after Socceroos midfielder Brandon O'Neill was sold to South Korea's Pohang Steelers.

Expansion club Macarthur Rams is among the suitors rebuffed by Sky Blues fringe players.

 

 

8. JOHN ALOISI FIT TO COACH

John Aloisi will have a different perspective on life and coaching after his emergency heart surgery.

The Socceroos great is back at the gym daily and determined to return to coaching. He was in contention for the Victory job before Marco Kurz was appointed.

Kevin Muscat had the perfect debut with Belgians Sint-Truiden, winning 2-0 at home to Kortrijk on Sunday.

While not officially coach due to licensing, Muscat has been hands on since arriving a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, ex-Socceroos striker David Zdrilic has joined MLS club Chicago Fire as assistant coach, having coached youth teams at German club RB Leipzig.

 

 

9. WESTERN UNITED STAYS IN MIX

Western United's 3-0 win against Central Coast keeps it in the finals frame after a topsy-turvy few weeks.

Besart Berisha can't be discounted for the A-League golden boot, after his brace took his season tally to nine.

The Mariners are a tough read. They beat Victory last week, but look like they could implode any time.

 

 

10. WORLD FOOTBALL'S LATEST STAR

Norwegian Erling Haaland, 19, took 23 minutes to prove he's one of football's rising stars.

His rapid-fire hat-trick on his debut, after his $32 million move from Red Bull Salzburg, helped it secure a come-from-behind 5-3 win at Augsburg.

 

 

11. FIFA'S BUSHFIRE HELP

Anthony La Paglia, Craig Foster, Ed Kavalee and ex- Socceroos Josip Skoko and Sasa Ognenovski are among the players in Saturday's Bushfire Relief Charity Match at AAMI Park before Melbourne City's 7.30pm clash against Perth Glory.


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