Australian-born youngster Cristian Volpato has made waves across the Australian footballing landscape following his debut for AS Roma in a 3-0 loss against Inter Milan, raising extensive questions about the developmental pathways within Australia.
Following the announcement that the Socceroos will return home in January to face Vietnam at AAMI Park on January 27th, Socceroos coach Graham Arnold encouraged Volpato to choose his heart amid speculation that he would include him in his next squad for crucial qualifiers against the aforementioned Vietnam and Oman.
“The organisation [Football Australia] has been in touch, I will be in touch… at the end of the day the kid has to decide with his heart, I’m not someone who wants to bring him in and just throw him on the pitch for one minute… I don’t think that’s fair,” Arnold said following the announcement that the Socceroos will return to AAMI Park for the first time in four years.
“The kid has to really after a conversation really decide for himself what feels more comfortable on the heart.
“For me at the moment the kid is doing great, he’s getting a chance with Jose Mourinho… if he’s one of the best of 23 because I don’t think that these type of games are ones that you can just throw kids in there to give them an opportunity… it’s about picking the best 23-man squad to win these two games and move forward.”
When posited if it is in Football Australia’s best interests to tie him down long term, Arnold spoke glowingly of his attributes and what he is able to add to Australia’s set up, eager to ensure that Italy won’t add him to the growing pile of Australian born talent who have declared for other European nations.
“He brings that X-factor… someone that can change a game… he sees something different and it’s a speciality and something that a lot of players don’t have.”
BIG BLUE RESCHEDULED:
As a result of the Socceroos fixture being scheduled for the 27th of January, the Big Blue between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC which usually occurs on Australia day has been pushed one day back in order to accomodate the Socceroos tie.