Previous
Liverpool
West Ham United
12:00 PM UTC
Game Details
Next

Celtic's Daniel Arzani eyes Olyroos return should they get to Tokyo

Daniel Arzani's return to action for Scottish giants Celtic has boosted hopes the 21-year-old midfielder could yet feature for Australia at this year's Olympic Games.

Arzani was a late substitute in Celtic's 2-1 Scottish Cup win over Partick Thistle on Monday, replacing fellow Socceroo Tom Rogic.

It was Arzani's first senior appearance for the Hoops since injuring a knee on debut against Dundee in October 2018.

That injury cost Arzani any chance of featuring for the Olyroos at the AFC Under-23 Championship in Thailand this month, which doubles as a qualifier for Tokyo 2020.

Australia face South Korea in a semifinal on Wednesday, knowing a win will book their first appearance at an Olympic men's football tournament since 2008.

Daniel Arzani
Daniel Arzani hopes to feature for the Olyroos should they reach Tokyo.

Head coach Graham Arnold said Arzani remains a chance to feature in his future plans should Australia successfully qualify for the Games.

"Of course he knows that I never would rule anyone out and it's great that he's back," Arnold said, before admitting his primary focus is on the players currently on Olyroos duty in Thailand.

"It's fantastic that he's back on the pitch for Celtic but all I can do at the moment is focus on the players that I've got here ... I can't do anything at this moment for Daniel, he's doing it all himself."

The Socceroos' brightest prospect at the 2018 World Cup, Arzani's injury-enforced time out of the spotlight has allowed the spotlight to fall on some of Australia's other emerging talent.

Al Hassan Toure, who announced himself in spectacular fashion during Adelaide United's FFA Cup run last year, came off the bench to score the extra-time winner against Syria in Saturday's quarterfinal.

It was the Guinea-born 19-year-old's third goal since debuting for the Olyroos late last year, and Arnold believes Australia have unearthed a potentially lethal striker in Toure.

"His talent is special ... he's impressed me with his finishing to be honest," the former Socceroos striker said.

"From the outside you don't really see that his finishing is so lethal, but when you see him at training and he's doing shooting drills, his finishing with both feet is excellent."

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.