Socceroos’ Souttar earns chance to seal club transfer

George Clarke |

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants Harry Souttar (top) to secure a move to a new club.
Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants Harry Souttar (top) to secure a move to a new club.

Graham Arnold wants to give Harry Souttar the chance to put himself in the shop window as the Socceroos defender continues to be frozen out by club side Leicester City.

Leicester earned promotion back to the English Premier League this month, but Souttar was a reluctant observer, restricted to just three games across the Foxes’ Championship campaign.

Arnold flagged during March’s World Cup qualification window that Souttar would have to earn a move elsewhere if he wanted to guarantee his place in the national team going forward.

But rather than leave Souttar at home to send a message, Arnold wants his towering centre back to use fixtures away to Bangladesh and against Palestine in Perth next month to secure a new club. 

Harry Souttar.
Australian Harry Souttar has had few opportunities to play for English side Leicester this sesaon. (AP PHOTO)

“What’s important is his club future, but with Harry coming with us and playing well it promotes him,” Arnold said. 

“It shows everyone out there how good he is.

“I’ve been surprised by his lack of game time, because we saw what he did against England at Wembley and what he’s done for us in the past.

“His club career is very important and he’s one of those players that is desperate to get back into camp and play these two games.”

Given his lack of game time, Souttar could consider himself fortunate to earn a reprieve from Arnold, who will unveil his squad on Wednesday.

Fellow centre halves, Cameron Burgess (Ipswich) and Alessandro Circati (Parma) have both won promotion this season, while Hearts defender Kye Rowles has been one of Arnold’s most-trusted performers. 

The Australians have already booked their spot in the final round of 2026 World Cup qualification, but Arnold is vowing there will be little room for experimentation for the June window, where, on paper, the two games are little more than dead rubbers.

But strong wins in both fixtures could help Australia jump above South Korea in the FIFA rankings.

That would give Arnold a more favourable qualification draw and help the Socceroos’ chances of rubberstamping their place at the 2026 World Cup. 

“Winning both of these games we could get into pot one, we are very close with South Korea at the moment,” Arnold said. 

“We are a hair behind South Korea.

“There’ll be a few selections I’ll make to look at the future, but I’ll pick a lot of players we’ve had for a quite a while so we have the consistency to win these two games.”

Arnold will have to contend with injuries to Craig Goodwin, Marco Tilio, Brandon Borrello, Riley McGree and Aiden O’Neill in June’s window.

First-choice left-back Aziz Behich has not returned to first-team action in Saudi Arabia since straining a calf in March, which may force Arnold to turn to rising Central Coast Mariners star Jacob Farrell. 

“He (Farrell) is on the long list, Jacob has done exceptionally well,” Arnold said.

AAP