Australia call up teenage Manchester City midfielder Robertson

Manchester City midfielder Alex Robertson was called up to Australia on Tuesday and is set to become the third generation of his family to play for the Socceroos.

The 19-year-old Sydney native has played youth football for England and Australia but now looks set to move to Graham Arnold’s team.

Robertson’s father Mark played for Australia in 2001 and his grandfather in 1984.

“I may have been talking to him for over 18 months,” Arnold told reporters ahead of friendly matches against Ecuador in Sydney on March 24 and in Melbourne four days later.

“This time, when I told him I wanted to pick him, he immediately said, ‘I can’t wait.

“I believe the child has now joined Australia,” Arnold added.

“I’m pretty sure that once he puts on the Socceroos jersey and feels the emblem on his heart, he will only play for one country.”

Robertson has played for Manchester City’s under-23s but has yet to make his debut for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Arnold compared the teenager to City Premier League star Kevin De Bruyne.

“He plays very much like De Bruyne at Manchester City, he gets in the box, scores goals and has good flair,” said Arnold.

“When you train with these players every week, you do it for a reason, and that reason is because Pep Guardiola appreciates him and sees his quality.”

Arnold also called up 17-year-old Adelaide United striker Nestori Irankunda to train with the national team.

“Looking at a kid’s game, he has special qualities,” said Arnold, who led Australia to the World Cup playoffs in Qatar.

“He comes for experience, but that doesn’t rule out his absence from the game.

“I want him to learn quickly. I believe he will reach that level.”

ry / arb / pst


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