Seven months ago, Daniel Arzani was playing in the Foxtel National Youth League.
Today, he sealed a move to the English Premier League champions.
It’s been a meteoric rise for the Caltex Socceroos starlet, who has made a massive impression for both club and country in next to no time.
CONFIRMED: Arzani signs for Manchester City
The teenager is now relishing the chance to shine on the international stage after signing for Manchester City.
“When I first came to this club I had ambitions of playing overseas and it was always a dream of mine,” he told Melbourne City's official website.
“I think with football you get opportunities and you’ve got to take them, and it’s the right time for me to take an opportunity and to move forward.
“The last six-seven months has been an absolute roller-coaster for me and I’ve been very pleased with the way everything’s worked out.
“I’m just ecstatic moving forward.”
Arzani’s ability to make an instant impact on the pitch has made his rise to prominence enthralling viewing.
It took him a mere 67 seconds to mark his international debut with a goal against Hungary back in June.
“Within seven months I went from playing youth team football to starting for the Hyundai A-League to going to a FIFA World Cup.
And his inspiring cameos off the bench against France, Denmark and Peru in Australia’s FIFA World Cup™ campaign raised eyebrows around the globe.
He drew a similar wide-eyed reaction in the Hyundai A-League last season.
Arzani made just 15 starts in Australia’s top flight but the teenager completed a massive 89 dribbles during the Regular Season, 22 more than any other player in the Hyundai A-League.
The teenager admits he still has to pinch himself.
“Within seven months I went from playing youth team football to starting for the Hyundai A-League to going to a FIFA World Cup," he said.
“Everything that’s happened in between… it’s been such an incredible journey but I think the most important thing is that coming from the youth team up into the first team for me was a smooth transition.
“It’s just a testament to how well things are run down here.”
Arzani’s route to Manchester follows that of former Melbourne City and Caltex Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy, who signed on at the Etihad Stadium in June 2016.
The 19-year-old says that Melbourne City is now a prime destination for nurturing Australian talent.
“I think a lot of young players come to City, they look at the pathway they offer and they look at the opportunities they could be given if they do well.
“For them it’s kind of an easy decision because everyone wants to aim at the top and it’s the same for me.
“We have a very, very good head coach right now, Warren [Joyce], and he pushes the players every single day, especially the young players – he likes to get on to them, it’s what you need at a young age.”
Arzani’s departure is a big blow for City boss Joyce, who is currently overseeing his second pre-season with the Melbourne club.
“Daniel has worked hard over the past couple of years and took his chance when it came,” Joyce told Melbourne City's official website.
“We’ve got a talented group of young players at Melbourne City and Daniel’s move provides even more drive for them to further their development in the senior squad.”
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