As Australia negotiates a tricky road to Qatar 2022 World Cup, Wade says the Gawler, SA, product is the final piece of a midfield jigsaw as the remodelled Socceroos aim to qualify for a fifth straight World Cup.
McGree enjoyed a brilliant season at his current club Adelaide United in the A-League, playing 18 times, scoring on 10 occasions.
He also helped guide the Reds to an FFA Cup Final triumph in late 2019. 
McGree has many admirers in the game, including Greek international Pana Kone (Western United) and former Sydney FC and Iraqi international Ali Abbas, to name just two. 

McGree was also on track to captain the national U23s at the Olympics this year before the COVID crisis hit. 

Football may be on hold for the moment, but the 21-year-old is looming large for Graham Arnold’s Socceroos, says Wade, himself a former midfield general in the Socceroos. 

“Riley, there’s a player. He’s powerful in his runs forward, he can finish, he has the energy and that bit of mongrel in his defensive duties,” Wade told FTBL. 


Socceroos McGree and Brandon O'Neill lock horns in the A-League

“We’ve got Mooy, Irvine, Rogic all good options for the Socceroos in the post Mile Jedinak period. 

“But with McGree and the likes of Brandon O’Neill we have the right combinations in central midfield available to Arnie,” said Wade, who debuted for the Socceroos in 1986, making 118 appearances (84 FIFA recognised), 46 of those as skipper in midfield. 

Wade believes midfield combinations are key, pointing to the Socceroos midfield trio of Michael Peterson and Oscar Crino and himself, a prime example of a combination that works. 

“I’d have McGree and O’Neill in central midfield with perhaps Rogic or Mooy in front of them, but with Riley able to alternate when needed and play higher," Wade said.