Players Union Chief John Didulica strongly believes Daniel Arzani should be given a Socceroos cap before the teen sensation is lost to Iran.
Arzani has the choice of playing for either Australia or Iran after his rise to prominence for Melbourne City this A-League season, with both nations keen to secure his services for what looks to be a promising career.
The 19-year-old attacking midfielder was born in Sydney and has played all his professional career in the A-League, but recently admitted he has “no idea” if he wanted to play for Australia or Iran.
Didulica says Arzani is a “remarkable talent”, the best prospect Australia has produced since Mark Viduka, and that he should be given a game for the Socceroos as soon as possible to lock him into our national setup.
“If it means bringing them into a squad, giving them some minutes to lock them in, I’m all for that,” Didulica told Football Nation Radio.
“Part of the narrative of football is seeing our future young stars…we want to see what the future of Australian football looks like.
“Capping somebody who’s young and may not necessarily be one the best 22 players the nation has at any given time isn’t a slight or an indictment on the game. It’s actually quite intelligent and shrewd. Both in terms of broadening your talent pool but also giving the fans a strong narrative that they can build their hopes and dreams around.
“For me it’s a no-brainer.”
Arzani represented Australia at youth level and also progressed through the AIS system, ut has sparked strong interest from Iran coach Carlos Queiroz.
“I’m a big advocate of trying to court young players who might have a second nationality, making sure they feel loved and welcome and really want to pull on the green and gold,” Didulica said.
“I’m very optimistic he’s going to be a long-term contributor to Australian football…I don’t see any reason he can’t become a leading footballer at the global level.”
Arzani has scored one goal and recorded three assists in eight games this season for Melbourne City.