Opinions. They’re just that, no one should worry about them too much, it’s just someone’s point of view. Stick the name Daniel Arzani into an internet search and you’ll find conflicting opinions on the young footballer that’s been heavily linked with a move to the most successful club in Scotland. That’s okay though, right, everyone on the planet is entitled to think what they think?
Fellow Socceroo, Milos Degenek has advised the teenager to “not to believe the headlines and the hype.” To quote him verbatim, he said, “It’s not about just getting your name in the papers and thinking that you’re a good player. You have to work hard and sacrifice a lot because talent isn’t always enough. When Daniel was in camp with the Socceroos (at and before the World Cup) he had a lot of great information and a lot players to learn from, and was always with Timmy (Cahill) and he was always helping him out. There’s nothing much better that can happen to him other than that. Mile Jedinak was always on to him telling him what to do and that, so I think he’s had the right people around the national team helping him out.”
To be fair, the Croatian born centre-back, who’s been capped 18 times by Tom Rogic’s national side has a decent pedigree, so he’s more than entitled to offer his opinion. They are his thoughts and he probably knows more about him than all of us. He certainly knows more about him than the mainstream media here.
Arzani completed his Manchester City medical in Melbourne ahead of a AU$500,000, basically the guts of £300k, transfer to the English champions. Celtic will apparently loan him for two seasons with an option to buy him at the end of that spell if the gaffer likes him, although there is a plan in place for a meeting between all parties at the end of the season to evaluate how his first season has gone. The Patrick Roberts effect? Apparently, Arzani turned down interest from Tottenham, Rennes and Fortuna Dusseldorf to join City. If the club that you play for is a feeder club for the side that you’re about to join, that might sway your thinking?
Arzani was born in Iran and so doesn’t have an EU passport or the required number of appearances for his national side to to meet the visa requirements of the FA down south so he couldn’t go straight into the City squad. So, whilst it might seem slightly bizarre, City couldn’t keep a hold of him and so decided to send him out on loan. Celtic were in pole position because the visa system here in Scotland is more relaxed than in England. A certain Etihad employee being related to a man with a heated driveway who works for Celtic might have helped too. Good news or not? I guess we’ll find out.
Many people have questioned why he hasn’t just signed for the club directly, especially given the sum of money involved. City have first refusal though, on all of the players from their feeder clubs assuming that the player in question wants to move. Chelsea use the system to their advantage too and have 29 players out on loan with clubs ranging from Atalanta to Yeovil Town. Obviously not all of them, if any, will make it at Chelsea but they’re entitled to do what they want, aren’t they? City too. Any club at all that wants to exploit loan signings can. If there is a young talent out there that the club could land that will enhance the squad at Celtic, doesn’t it make sense to use your relationship wisely? With Patrick Roberts gone, it makes sense to bring in another winger. It’s hard to argue that the mere presence of Roberts in Glasgow made Forrest have arguably his best season for the club to date. Arzani has the potential to be better for Celtic than Roberts was. He’s been called the best talent to come out of Australia in a very long time. Let that sink in and think how good Rogic has been. Those people moaning that we’re developing players for other clubs might want to think that he could end up in G40 permanently.
Don’t underestimate the part that Australia teammate Tom Rogic played in convincing Arzani to head north. Reports here in Australia suggest that the man of the match from the opening game of the season was instrumental in Arzani’s decision to shun more lucrative offers from the clubs previously mentioned. It seems that Celtic’s number 18 and Arzani have been chatting for months about the merits of moving to the double-treble winning Hoops. Not everyone will know that talks happened back in 2016 with City with the club looking to take Aaron Mooy on a similar agreement to the Roberts and Arzani deals. It didn’t happen, he was signed by them and then loaned and then and subsequently sold to Huddersfield. Huddersfield? He was arguably one of the best midfielders last season in the so called best league in the world. It adds credence to the thought that Arzani will be of benefit to Celtic, doesn’t it?
Despite not having kicked a ball in competitive competition since his three Socceroos substitute appearances at the World Cup, Arzani has spoken to the manager directly, who has convinced him that his talent will be best served in Scotland and that he’ll look to bring out the best in him in the same way that he’s done with several other players. Armstrong, Sterling, Suarez, are just a few of those on what is becoming a long list.
His actual agent is former Blackburn midfielder Vince Grella, and it seems that he’s also advised that pulling on the hoops this season and next, would be a good idea. Make no mistake, if this happens, it’s a coup for Celtic. The manager has spoken about it publicly so it’s likely.
The Aussie starlet shares an agency with ex Celts, Joe Ledley, Adam Matthews and Jackson Irvine. No shortage of advice if he wanted to reach out and if Tom hadn’t already convinced him. Conor Hazard, Jack Aitchison, Mikey Johnston and Daniel Church are also part of the same stable so he may well have sought out advice from them also.
Make no mistake, this guy is a talent. He’s a tricky winger who will cause teams problems. He predominantly plays on the left but is right footed so will fit into a 4-2-3-1 system if that’s what the gaffer wants to go with. He’s already been capped five times by the Socceroos, despite only having turned 19 in January. He can play behind a lone striker too but Tom might have something to say about that.
If his attitude is right, he’ll be a success. The new number 7?
Twitter: @HailHailMedia @TheSamMcLeod