Socceroos coach Graham Arnold says Hibernian winger Martin Boyle’s ability to take on players is what the Socceroos have been looking for.
After receiving his Australian citizenship, Boyle is now free to play for Australia and Arnold immediately picked the Scots-born winger for the two game friendly series against South Korea and Lebanon this month.
The 25-year-old missed out on his debut for the Socceroos in the recent friendly win over Kuwait as his paperwork was still not ready.
But the Socceroos boss has so much faith in the winger’s ability that he was selected over in-form A-League star Craig Goodwin and World Cup Socceroo Dimi Petratos.
“I’ve watched him at Hibs and he’s an exciting player,” Arnold said. “He’s a player in the one versus one action that you can give him the ball and leave him free.
"He will always have the positive attitude to go past players and he scores goals. He’s got a lot of speed and he gives us a great addition in the front half of the field that we are looking for.
"I’ve got to give credit to the FFA and the legal team and Mark Falvo who sped through the immigration process to get Martin his passport and make sure he is available for these two games.
“Otherwise he wouldn’t have had a chance to show us, the Australian public, his qualities.”
Despite Goodwin and Petratos missing out on the 23 players named, both were included in the Socceroos train-on squad so the duo could still see game time this month.
Arnold admitted that the Adelaide winger in particular has been in fine form during the opening rounds of the A-League.
“He gives us something different because he is really the only left footed winger we have,” he said.
“Craig is a great example of work hard. Perform well as well as play well in the A-League, and you’ll get recognised and rewarded.
“The message is clear for all the A-League players. I’ve been out and watched a lot of the A-League games since I’ve been coach and the standard has been fantastic this year.”
With a number of Aussies abroad also shining for their overseas clubs, the Socceroos boss said he will have a hard time naming his first team for the opening friendly against South Korea.
“Milos Degenek has been outstanding against Liverpool,” he said “Aaron Mooy has been outstanding for Huddersfield.
"Maty Ryan is player of the month in the EPL. How great is that? Australian players. We have got a lot of positive things happening.
“I’ve been able to reach out to 39 players in the time I’ve been in charge, and 25 Olympic boys and let me tell you, some of those Olyroo boys are getting closer – Riley McGree and those types of boys.
“The pool is getting deeper and the kids are coming and they give a lot of energy. It’s going to be tough to select a starting XI.”