Melbourne City wonder-kid Daniel Arzani credits mentor Tim Cahill
Tim Cahill might have left Melbourne City but his legacy lives on at the A-League club, helping to nurture the next generation of talent.
Wonder-teen Daniel Arzani, in line to make the first start of his career, is being mentored by the Socceroos legend.
The Iranian-born winger struck up a fast friendship which has continued past Cahill's departure.
"He came to the club and took me under his wing. Tim's been a huge role model for me," Arzani told AAP.
"The guy still keeps in contact with me now. We talk on the phone all the time.
"I take any advice I can get for him because he's one of the best players Australia has ever had."
While Arzani's career is about to take off, Cahill is yet to find a new club since leaving City.
A source close to the 38-year-old told AAP a new deal was weeks rather than days away from being announced.
Cahill left the A-League a month ago, citing a need to be playing regular football to prepare for the World Cup.
For Arzani, regular football could be closer than ever. The departure of Stefan Mauk and Bruce Kamau to the under-23 Asian Championships has opened up places in City's team.
And City could use a change-up after seeing their A-League stocks fall in recent weeks.
After four straight wins to start the season, coach Warren Joyce has just two wins in nine matches.
Perhaps Arzani could be one of the young guns to change City's fortunes.
The 18-year-old impressed off the bench in their last-out loss to Western Sydney, coming on to relieve Ross McCormack up front.
Against Wellington Phoenix on Saturday, Arzani is the lead candidate to replace Kamau in his favoured wide forward position.
Arzani isn't counting his chickens but is hoping Joyce backs in another teenager; as he's done successfully with Nathaniel Atkinson in recent weeks.
"City is one of the most advanced clubs in the way they think (about) young players. Whoever is performing at their best gets the chance to play," he said.
"It's up to the coach. I've just got to make sure I work as hard as I can."