Aaron Mooy is a ”fantastic footballer” who will attract plenty of clubs prepared to restore him to the Premier League next season, now that Huddersfield Town’s relegation to the Championship has been confirmed.
That’s the verdict of former Tottenham, West Ham, Southampton and QPR coach Harry Redknapp, a long-time admirer of the Socceroos midfielder.
Mooy, 28, is likely to leave the John Smith’s Stadium in the northern summer as the Terriers bid to cash in while they can on a player whose contract expires in the middle of next year.
They paid Manchester City $20 million for him three seasons ago, and would be looking to sell him for at least $27 million, rather than allow his contract to run down and see Mooy depart as a free agent.
Redknapp, who coached against Mooy in a FIFA World Cup qualifier while in charge of Jordan in a caretaker capacity in 2016, believes the midfielder will remain in England's top flight.
“He’s a fantastic footballer who can play in the Premier League, no problem,” said the 72-year-old who had former Socceroos Stan Lazarodis and Robbie Slater under his wing during his time in charge of the Hammers.
“I don’t know how he’ll see his future, whether he feels like staying on at Huddersfield and trying to get back up again or whether he’ll be looking to move onto a Premier League club straight away.
“I certainly believe he belongs at that level ... he’s already showed that this season and also last.”
While Redknapp doesn’t see one of the big six clubs at the top of Premier League tree moving for Mooy, he envisions those in and around the mid-table spectrum being likely destinations.
“Teams like the West Hams and Newcastles (both Mooy has previously been linked with) would be a good fit for him,” he added.
“No disrespect, he’s probably not going to be on the radar of a Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea or Tottenham but he could certainly do a top job for any one of those next tier of teams in the league who are looking for quality in the middle of the park.”
Huddersfield’s Premier League exit was sealed by last weekend’s 2-0 loss at Crystal Palace, leaving them with just 18 points from 32 games.
Mooy’s knee injury at the turn of the year has restricted him to 24 appearances, but he’s still easily been Huddersfield’s most creative force in a dismal season.
“He needs to be at a club that’s going to play football. There’s no point in him ending up at a team that just lumps it from back to front,” added Redknapp.
“I’ve always liked him ... I think technically he’s an excellent player.
“He reads the game well, has good vision and is a is top passer of the ball.
“He’s always available and wants the ball. I like him a lot.”
Fresh from being crowned king of the jungle in the UK TV hit reality series I’m A Celebrity...Get Me Out Of Here - shot in Australia - Redknapp’s multi-media star status has risen even further with the screening last month of the two-part series Harry’s Heroes: The Full English.
The reality show put Redknapp back in his tracksuit coaching a rag-tag, weather-beaten team of ex-England stars in preparation for a clash with a team comprised of former German internationals.
“I got together the likes of John Barnes, Chris Waddle Paul Merson, Robbie Fowler, Ray Parlour, Lee Sharpe, David Seaman and Razor Ruddock, and had to whip them into shape again. It wasn’t easy but it turned out being a terrific program,” said Redknapp.
“They had to shed the weight and work like pros again for that one game, which they won 4-2.
“It was a real match of football and the show did really well in the ratings.
“The players opened up on some of the problems in their lives - and (former Arsenal star) Paul Merson shed a few tears taking about his addictions (most recently gambling and formerly drugs and booze).
“Razor talked about his weight and heart problems and the program took people inside the lives of these guys.
“I had to get on top of them and then match ready again. It was a challenge but a fantastic experience.”