Glory battle to retain Davidson with Wanderers and Japan on horizon


Rejuvenated Jason Davidson has forced himself back into the national frame amid a surge of interest from Asia and A-League rivals Western Sydney Wanderers for the Perth Glory flier.

Last capped back in 2015, the 27-year-old left-back has been one of Tony Popovic’s torchbearers as Glory have risen to the summit this season, and Socceroos coach Graham Arnold will have taken note.

Whether he signs a contract extension to remain in the west beyond this season - despite his admiration for Popovic and ardour for the club and their fans - is now a burning question for Glory.

Wanderers coach Markus Babbel has made no secret of his desire to bring Davidson east next season as a key figure in his likely rebuild.

Ironically, Glory travel to face the Wanderers on Sunday.

There is also the lure of Asia, with at least one club in Japan keeping a close eye on Davidson’s form.

He lived and trained there in his early teens and is a long-time admirer of the J1 League.

Having started all 19 games for Glory this season, Davidson reiterated his importance to the team with a goal and domineering display in Saturday night’s 4-0 demolition of Brisbane, as Popovic’s men went nine points clear with nine regular season games left.

The difficulty for Glory is that Davidson - whose career stops include West Bromwich Albion, Huddersfield Town, Groningen and Rijeka - will be tough to shoehorn into the A-League salary cap.

All of which makes it challenging to retain a player who may find a lucrative offer from elsewhere - especially the likes of the J1 League - impossible to resist.

Paralleling that is Davidson’s desire to win a national team recall, with both current left-backs in varying states of flux.

First choice Aziz Behich has made just four Eredivisie appearances since signing for PSV Eindhoven, whilst Alex Gersbach is finding his feet having recently joined fellow Dutch outfit NAC Breda.

It opens a window of opportunity for Davidson to ramp up the pressure for a recall ahead of the first phase of qualifying for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

He was one of Australia’s standouts at Brazil 2014, and was an AFC Asian Cup winner on home soil a year later.