Arzani hangs tough at Celtic in bid to prove potential

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Daniel Arzani won’t be panicked into seeking a January transfer window exit from Celtic, preparing to dig in and wait his turn with the Scottish champions.

Unmoved by the urgings of Socceroos coach Graham Arnold to swiftly re-evaluate his options should a senior breakthrough continue to elude him, Arzani is - at the very least - determined to see out his two-season loan from parent club Manchester City.

Fit-again after the ACL injury sustained 23 minutes into his Hoops debut last October, Arzani, 20, is in the midst of a graduated return to action for his club, and is in camp with the Olyroos in Doha this week.

A genuine appraisal of his effectiveness, or otherwise, cannot yet be made.

And his overriding ambition, according to well-placed sources, is to persevere and prove his potential to Celtic fans, rather than seeking a potentially softer option elsewhere.

The Netherlands has been mentioned as a possible solution but Arzani isn’t biting.

Arnold put the prodigy on alert last week when he stated: “They (Celtic) think that he is a special player but at the end of the day it's all about getting those opportunities on the pitch and getting game time and I think that will come to the forefront over the next six months.

"It's an important six months for Daniel before potentially the January transfer window that he gets game time.

"Celtic obviously are a strong club and have got a lot of depth. Daniel is under no illusions that he has to work extremely hard to get in that side."

Arzani’s structured build-up for first-team consideration at Celtic Park involves 30-45, 60 and 90 minute appearances for the reserves.

After the attacking weapon’s initial 30 minutes, he suffered muscle tightness and then a bout of the flu.

He has yet to play 60 minutes for the second team but will benefit greatly for a run out in Qatar before continuing his program back in Scotland.

By the end of this month, barring hiccups, he will be front and centre of Neil Lennon’s first-team plans and could feature off the bench sometime in November.

Juxtapose that with a rush to the exit door, and Arzani and his advisors are convinced, with the rewards on the horizon so enticing, patience is key.

Arzani sees his instinctive qualities as suited to a club where another of Australia’s creative masters, Tom Rogic, has flourished over the years.

An impact player for both Melbourne City, and Australia at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Arzani’s career thus far has been more about quality than quantity, making him perfectly placed to thrive - possibly in short bursts initially - off the bench for the Bhoys.

Arzani had options aplenty elsewhere, from Austria Wien, Fortuna Düsseldorf to PEC Zwolle and a number of others, before the decision was made to join a club with average home crowds in excess of 60,000 and winning trophies high on the agenda.

He could have earned higher recompense elsewhere but it was decided his style was best tailored for a club like Celtic, where his off-the-cuff expressive qualities might best be exploited.

Injury, to date, has prevented that. But Arzani plans to prove the right choice was made by all parties. Time, as ever, will be the final arbiter.

Source SBS The World Game