Socceroos rookie Arzani compared to Kewell by Celtic boss Rodgers


Socceroos rising star Daniel Arzani has been compared to Australia great Harry Kewell by Celtic coach Brendan Rodgers, with the Hoops boss insisting expectations around the young midfielder need to be managed.

It was a busy off season for Arzani, who signed a two-year loan deal with the Scottish Champions in August after first making the move from Melbourne City to parent club Manchester City.

A boom last campaign in the A-League helped the 19-year-old earn a spot on the Socceroos' 2018 FIFA World Cup squad, where he dazzled during a few brief cameos after coming on as a late substitute in all three of Australia's matches at the tournament.

However, his new club coach has moved quick to temper the hype around the potential star attacker by omitting Arzani from Celtic's UEFA Europa League squad and playing him in their reserve team.

"Daniel hasn't played 90 minutes football, here or in Australia," Rodgers told STV.

"This is a young player who burst onto the scene back home and is regarded as a talent.

"But he is very knew into his life as a professional and has just been with us for three weeks.

"It's the adaptation to a new country, new club, new football."

While Rodgers admitted there were some similarities between the rapid rise of Arzani and Harry Kewell, he was adamant that the former A-League rookie of the year still has a lot to prove.

"It will be our job to manage the expectation, every young player in Australia they hope can be the next Harry Kewell," Rodgers said.

"Harry was a special talent but Daniel is a young boy who has talent, over the coming years we will see if he the commitment to go with the quality he has."

Rodgers' comments come after he met with Socceroos coach Graham Arnold earlier this week at Celtic's Lennoxtown Training Centre base.

The meeting was a chance for Arnold to build links with the famous Scottish club as well as watch Arzani and fellow mercurial Australian midfielder Tom Rogic in action.