Socceroos call up Manchester City prospect Alex Robertson

Australia's World Cup run to inspire a generation (1:21)

The National Curriculum's Joshua Parish thinks the Socceroos will inspire a new generation of Australian soccer fans despite World Cup exit. (1:21)

Manchester City midfielder Alex Robertson appears set to declare his allegiance to Australia after being named in the Socceroos squad for this month's friendlies against Ecuador.

The 19-year-old, whose father Mark played one match for Australia in 2001, is one of four uncapped players included in Graham Arnold's squad for games in Sydney on Friday, March 24, and Melbourne on Tuesday, March 28.

Adelaide United goalkeeper Joe Gauci and Melbourne City pair Aiden O'Neill and Jordan Bos are also in line for their first caps while red-hot Western Sydney Wanderers forward Brandon Borrello and St Pauli's Connor Metcalfe have been recalled after missing selection for Qatar.

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Sydney defender Joel King has been dropped, Danny Vukovic has retired and the injured quartet of Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren, Ajdin Hrustic and Martin Boyle are unavailable from the squad which reached the round of 16 at the World Cup. Adelaide wonderkid Nestory Irankunda has been brought into the squad in a training capacity.

But Robertson making himself available for Australia is arguably the biggest talking point, given the youngster is eligible for England, Scotland and Peru.

"I haven't just picked him because he's a talent," Arnold said. "He's doing very well with Man City, he's playing with the under-23s but he's training with the first team every day.

"He plays more as a No. 8, very similar to Kevin De Bruyne.

"When you're training with those players every week you're there for a reason and that reason is that Pep Guardiola rates him highly and sees the quality he's got."

Robertson was raised in Sydney and has yet to play for City's first XI. Arnold said Robertson had already completed the necessary paperwork with FIFA to tie himself to Australia. And the Socceroos boss said he was confident of persuading Alessandro Circati and Cristian Volpato, who are both eligible for Italy, to follow Robertson's lead.

"I intend to head over to talk to both of them and have a chat about playing for Australia," Arnold said. "I'm very positive that with the selection of Alex Robertson that will help as well."

Neither Volpato or Circati are included in this month's squad, but the thought of a Socceroos side including those two, Robertson, Garang Kuol and Irankunda shapes as an exciting prospect.

Irankunda has turned heads with his performances for Adelaide this season. The 17-year-old has yet to start a senior game but has scored or set up a goal in five of his past six A-League Men games.

"Seeing the kid play, he has special qualities," Arnold said. "He's coming in for an experience, but that's not ruling him out of game time.

"I want him to learn quickly, and he sees what it takes from a Jackson Irvine or an Aaron Mooy to get to the top level and I do believe that he will end up at that level."


Goalkeepers: Joe Gauci, Andrew Redmayne, Mathew Ryan

Defenders: Nathaniel Atkinson, Aziz Behich, Jordan Bos, Milos Degenek, Thomas Deng, Kye Rowles, Harry Souttar, Bailey Wright

Midfielders: Keanu Baccus, Cameron Devlin, Jackson Irvine, Riley McGree, Connor Metcalfe, Aaron Mooy, Aiden O'Neill, Alex Robertson

Attackers: Brandon Borrello, Jason Cummings, Mitchell Duke, Craig Goodwin, Garang Kuol, Awer Mabil, Marco Tilio