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Where to next for Rogic and Mooy? Crucial decisions heading into the 2022 World Cup

Any notion of the Socceroos heading to Qatar without Tom Rogic and Aaron Mooy as key members of a squad hopeful of advancing beyond the group stage seems absurd.

Both have formed the backbone of many an Australian team over the past decade, with their talents recognised abroad and subsequently leading to profitable and well-respected international stints.

Rogic has worn national colours for ten years, been capped 53 times and scored on ten occasions for the Socceroos. His immense talent resulted in 178 games for Celtic, before the Canberra-born star decided that is was time to move on after the 2021-22 campaign.

Two years older than Rogic at 31, Mooy’s outstanding domestic A-League play saw his rising stardom take the Sydney born midfielder all the way to the English Premier League, with stints at Huddersfield and Brighton proving his class and offering much hope to younger Australian players dreaming of making their mark in the most lucrative league in the world.

Aaron Mooy

Aaron Mooy playing for Huddersfield Town (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

Capped on 52 occasions for the Socceroos and with seven goals to his name in the green and gold, Mooy’s recent performances in the World Cup knock-out fixtures reminded everyone of his class, despite the fact that he has enjoyed no consistent club football in months, with the Chinese league severely impacted by the country’s zero-tolerance approach to the pandemic.

With domestic football in China now back underway, Mooy has departed, with a host of English Championship clubs keen to snare what would be a signature of experience and reliability.

Swansea City have reportedly been keen to discuss terms with the Australian, yet Birmingham, Norwich, Middlesbrough and Mooy’s former employer, Huddersfield, are similarly in the hunt for a steady holding mid to improve their chances of promotion at the completion of the upcoming season.

However, it is the rumours of a potential signing with Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic that has tongues wagging and others seeing a rather obviously symmetry between coach and player, thus feeling confident that the man married to a Scotswoman may well be headed to the hoops for 2022-23.

With Mooy apparently in Scotland at the present time, it is difficult to imagine a scenario where the former Socceroo manager would not reach out and at least enquire in regards to his plans and short-term hopes for his next career move.

While the Championship appears a likely destination, Big Ange knows exactly what he will get with Mooy and after a few off-season departures, Rogic included, he may see value in luring the former Wanderer to Glasgow.

With Mooy seemingly weighing up numerous offers from English clubs, things appear different in camp Rogic.

Socceroo coach Graham Arnold has had no luck in attempting to correspond with the former Mariner and serious offers made to him have reportedly beenrejected, as Rogic appears to float in some sort of football limbo.

Spotted in Sydney over the last few days, the rumours of a marquee deal at the Sky Blues were logical, yet his talent and reputation must surely be attracting interest from abroad.

Most concerning is the radio-silence approach Rogic appears to have adopted after leaving the United Kingdom, and while discussion around his state of mind and preparedness to play may be well off the mark, they will continue to grow with every day that he remains non-committal and uncontactable.

I hope Rogic is just enjoying a moment of serenity after more than a decade of football pressure and intensity. However, with the World Cup in Qatar just four months away and he and Mooy’s presence vital for the Socceroos, fans are also keen to see what their next moves are.

The key component to those moves will be clocking minutes in the lead-up to the tournament and playing impressively enough to demand selection.

Should either land in the A-League, the October 5 start date will make proving fitness and form to Arnold prior to November 18 a difficult task, with a fresh contract in Europe and an August start to their preparations far more comfortable in terms of earning a seat on the plane.

Hopefully both are playing it coy and about to claim a tidy sum at impressive clubs, set to subsequently assure themselves of a place in the Socceroo squad.

Whether they are or not, both are desperately required in Qatar.

With Arnold likely to back some of the young talent he has been supportive of throughout the qualifying campaign, the experience of Aaron Mooy and Tom Rogic will be required to balance the probable squad and give the Socceroos their best chance at the World Cup.

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