Melbourne City have confirmed the transfer of Daniel Arzani to sister club and English Premier League champions, Manchester City with a loan to Celtic looming later today.
Arzani’s eye-catching performances have drawn significant attention both in the league and for the national team over the last twelve months, and the move recognises his significant potential while allowing him to fulfil a lifelong dream to compete at the highest level in Europe.
The now 19-year-old’s potential was spotted early, and in 2016 he travelled to City Football Academy Manchester to train under World Cup winner, Patrick Vieira, then Manchester City youth coach, before returning to City Football Academy Melbourne.
City Football Group’s Managing Director of Global Football, Brian Marwood, been involved in City’s youth development for almost a decade and sees a lot to like in Arzani.
“In a short period of time, Daniel has developed into one of Australia’s brightest young stars and has demonstrated the drive and raw talent required for success at the highest level.”
“This pathway was first forged by Aaron Mooy just two years ago, and we are all delighted to see another Australian-grown talent make this move. The combination of City Football Group’s global football structure and the world-leading City Football Academy facilities create an environment in which this pathway can become well-trodden.”
Arzani follows in the footsteps of Premier League star and former City favourite, Aaron Mooy who moved from Melbourne to Manchester City in 2016 and later became a record-signing for Huddersfield FC where he has since played over 80 games, scored eight goals and won the club’s player of the year award in 2017.
Promoted from Melbourne City’s Y-League squad in the 2016-17 season at just 17 years old, Arzani forced his way into the first team, becoming a regular in Warren Joyce’s 2017-18 season team and widely recognised as one of Australia’s next hot prospects.
“Having the chance to train and play in Europe is a dream come true and a challenge I’m confident will only help me improve as a player,” said Arzani.
“Melbourne City has a unique position in Australia with a clear pathway for young, ambitious players to first challenge themselves against Australia’s best, and then progress to Europe to play against the world’s best.
“Watching players like Aaron Mooy play at City before moving to the Premier League has been a great inspiration and, with the world-class coaching and facilities we have in Melbourne, it’s always felt attainable.”
Melbourne City Head Coach, Warren Joyce, said he expects Arzani to be one of many City young guns to develop into one of Australia’s best.
“Daniel has worked hard over the past couple of years and took his chance when it came,” said Joyce.
“We’ve got a talented group of young players at Melbourne City and Daniel’s move provides even more drive for them to further their development in the senior squad.
“We’ve just returned from a preseason trip to India where we gave 10 of our younger players a chance to play in front of a big crowd and test themselves against ISL’s Kerala Blasters and LaLiga’sGirona FC.
“The lads acquitted themselves well and will get their chances to perform throughout the course of the season. We’re focussed on continuing to blood the stars of tomorrow.”
Melbourne City FC continue their preparation for the upcoming A-League season after advancing to the final 16 of the Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday evening. The Round of 16 match between City and fellow A-League side, Newcastle Jets, will take place at AAMI Park on Wednesday 29 August.