With seven goals in 14 A-League Men appearances for Melbourne Victory this season - seven of which have come off the bench - D’Agostino’s pace, penetration and finishing panache have thrust him onto the brink of a maiden senior team call-up.


  • Melbourne Victory's in-form forward Nick D'Agostino is in contention for a surprise call-up for this month's World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia.
  • The ex-Olyroo has impressed Graham Arnold with his free scoring A-League feats this season.
  • With Australia searching for reinforcements up front, D'Agostino could provide some missing depth.

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It was Arnold who brought the former Perth Glory predator into the Olyroos fold, where he played second fiddle to Mitch Duke at last year’s Tokyo Games.

Arnold has been forced to cast the net wide with nominal first choice number nine Adam Taggart still rehabilitating from knee surgery and current fulcrum Jamie Maclaren only available for the March 24 visit of the Samurai Blue at Stadium Australia.

His long awaited marriage to partner Iva clashes with the trip to Riyadh five days later, with the Melbourne City striker handed a leave pass by Arnold.

Winger Mat Leckie, who can also be deployed down the middle, is currently battling a groin injury whilst the heavily touted Israel-based forward Nikita Rukavystya is unavailable.

All of which leads to the man known as Daggers jumping into contention.

Perhaps presciently, he has a history of making crucial interventions for his country  - most notably scoring the solitary goal in Australia's 1-0 win over Uzbekistan two years ago that sealed qualification for Tokyo.

But it’s D’Agostino’s clinical form for Victory this season - three goals on his last two appearances alone - that has  peeked Arnold’s interest.

A super sub turned starter in recent weeks, D’Agostino, 24, is beginning the deliver on the promise which persuaded Tony Popovic to reunite with him in Melbourne after their previous collaboration in Perth.

Brimming with belief and energy, the brawny front-runner could bring another dimension for Arnold whose striking stocks are looking threadbare ahead of two games Australia must win to qualify automatically for Qatar 2022 and dodge the perils of the playoffs.

The fifth-placed South American nation would ultimately stand in the Socceroos' way in June for a place in the global showpiece, assuming they defeat Group A’s third placed team first, which looks like being UAE.


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