Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak believes Caltex Socceroos gloveman Mat Ryan, who captained Valencia overnight against EPL outfit Bournemouth, has what it takes to succeed in La Liga.
Overnight against the Cherries, Ryan completed 90 minutes for Valencia - and wore the skipper's armband - while his international teammate Brad Smith also put in a full shift for the English Premier League club.
Valencia led at half-time through Enzo Perez but Ryan could do little to stop Benik Afobe's powerful equaliser in the 61st minute.
Ryan arrived in Spain before last season, signing with Valencia from Club Brugge, and the Australia international experienced a rollercoaster first season at the Mestalla.
The 24-year-old made 21 appearances in all competitions and notched seven clean sheets, but he struggled to hold down a starting position as four different coaches took charge throughout the campaign.
Having started two of Valencia's four pre-season matches under Pako Ayestaran, however, including a stint wearing the captain's armband in a 1-1 draw with Bournemouth on Wednesday, Ryan appears set for a stronger second year in La Liga.
Oblak, who notched a league-high 24 clean sheets in 2015-16, has been impressed by what he's seen of the Aussie.
"Yeah, I saw some games he [Ryan] was playing. He was playing good," Oblak told Goal Australia.
"He's a great goalkeeper, so I think he just needs to keep working like he's working. He will do good things."
Gallery: Caltex Socceroos camp in pictures
The Caltex Socceroos are looking ahead to November's twin matches in a positive mindframe after comfortably accounting for Kuwait 4-0 in a friendly earlier this week. Australia's impressive win came as reward for the hard work done during a Dubai training camp in the lead-up t
Progress report: Mark Milligan
With the AFC Asian Cup appearing quickly on the horizon, we’re delivering weekly scouting reports on some of our Caltex Socceroos playing abroad. This week the spotlight is on Mark Milligan, an experienced member of the national team who has made a flawless start to life in Eu
Caltex Socceroos meet young Aussie ‘Playmakers’ in the UAE
The Caltex Socceroos took time out after training to meet with some young Australian fans in the United Arab Emirates last week ahead of Monday’s solid 4-0 win over Kuwait in Kuwait City. The young Australians, who live in the UAE, are part of the AFC Asian Cup UAE 2019’s Play
‘An amazing story’: Patrice Evra leads social media tributes to Mabil, Deng debuts
There was a lot to like about the Caltex Socceroos win over Kuwait on Tuesday (AEDT) but arguably the biggest highlight was the international debuts of youngsters Awer Mabil and Thomas Deng. The pair were both second-half substitutes and combined on the right flanks, with Mabi