Graham Arnold urges Premier League clubs to splash the clash on Socceroos star Harry Souttar

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Graham Arnold urges Premier League clubs to splash the cash on Socceroos and Stoke City defender Harry Souttar after his World Cup exploits in Qatar

Graham Arnold has urged Premier League clubs to snap up Harry Souttar after the Scottish-born defender delivered another superb performance in Australia’s win over Denmark.

Mathew Leckie’s goal was the difference as the Socceroos beat the Euro 2020 semi-finalists 1-0 on Thursday morning (AEDT) to reach the Round of 16 at the World Cup for the first time in 16 years.

Fresh from a fantastic display in the 1-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday, Souttar was again imperious at the back as the Socceroos kept Denmark at bay with even when the Kasper Hjulmand’s men threw everything at them. 

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Socceroos boss Graham Arnold has urged Premier League clubs to sign Harry Souttar

‘Harry has been out for a year with an ACL, he’s played three games before he came in,’ Arnold said of Souttar after the win over Denmark.

‘I just had so much belief in that boy. I know his mentality is so strong.

‘I tell you what, if I was a Premier League club, I‘d be banging on his door real quick. He’s that good.’

After keeping just two clean sheets in their first five World Cup appearances combined, Australia have not conceded a goal in over 180 minutes of football.

Souttar has been a revelation at this World Cup

Arnold believes Souttar deserves his chance at a big club

 The Scottish-born centre-back has been key in Australia keeping back-to-back clean sheets

The towering centre-back won seven aerial duels against Denmark as Australia won 1-0

The towering centre-back won seven aerial duels against Denmark as Australia won 1-0

Souttar has been integral to the Socceroos’ defensive solidity, with the towering centre-back putting in a number of crucial last-ditch tackles and using all of his 198centimetres frame to dominate in the air.

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Against Denmark, he won seven aerial duels, made nine clearances and completed two interceptions.  

Souttar’s performances have been all the more impressive given the 24-year-old – who scored six goals in his first 10 games for the Socceroos –  ruptured his ACL in a World Cup qualifier against Saudi Arabia in November.

Souttar faced a race against the clock to be fit in time for the World Cup after rupturing his ACL during a qualifier against Saudi Arabia in November last year

Souttar faced a race against the clock to be fit in time for the World Cup after rupturing his ACL during a qualifier against Saudi Arabia in November last year

The Stoke City defender – who scored six goals in his first 10 games for the Socceroos – faced a race against time to be fit in time for the tournament, but has been a revelation at the World Cup. 

One of three Scottish-born players in the Australia squad along with Martin Boyle and Jason Cummings, Souttar is under contract with Stoke until 2025 but the Potters can expect interest from several clubs following his performances in Qatar.

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Mark Viduka and Mark Bresciano remain the most expensive Australian players in history.

Souttar moved to Stoke City in 2016 but only became a regular for the Potters last season

Souttar moved to Stoke City in 2016 but only became a regular for the Potters last season

Leeds paid Celtic $6million in 2000 for the former, while Parma forked out $7million to sign the latter from Empoli two years later. When adjusted for inflation, the figures amount to approximately $18million in today’s money.

Souttar could realistically command a higher fee than both, should suitors come knocking at Stoke’s door after the World Cup. 

Before that, however, the defender will have to focus on the small matter of stopping Lionel Messi when Australia face Argentina in the Round of 16 at 6am on Sunday morning (AEDT). 

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