‘He’s only going to get better’: Arnold hails impact of two-goal Souttar

Graham Arnold believes Harry Souttar’s incredible start to his international career is only going to get better after the towering defender’s impressive brace in the Caltex Socceroos’ FIFA World Cup 2022™ over Chinese Taipei.

A week ago the 20-year-old was somewhat of an unknown quantity to Australian fans as he prepared to make his senior international debut.

Now he has been involved in two FIFA World Cup 2022™ qualifying victories, backing up his debut brace against Nepal in Canberra with another double in Australia’s 7-1 drubbing of Chinese Taipei on Tuesday night.

It’s the stuff of dreams for the strapping defender, who plays for Fleetwood Town in England’s League One, but Arnold says it’s just the beginning.

“Harry is just a great person and he’s a very good player. He’s only going to get better as we go,” Arnold told socceroos.com.au.

REPORT: Taggart, Irvine and Souttar score doubles in big win over Chinese Taipei
WATCH: All the highlights from Australia's 7-1 win over Chinese Taipei


“Only a few months ago I saw him with the [Australian U23 team] and now he’s already in the Socceroos and scoring goals.

“Set pieces can break open games. We’re scoring now off set pieces where we weren’t before and we’re scoring goals in general play.

“Having Harry’s size is great and he’s already a hit back at home.”

WATCH: Souttar's first goal against Chinese Taipei

Souttar was not the only Caltex Socceroo to shine at the Kaohsiung National Stadium, with Adam Taggart and Jackson Irvine scoring first-half doubles.

Jamie Maclaren continued his rich vein of form with a goal off the bench, while Ajdin Hrustic provided three assists as a second-half substitute.

“The last part of the pitch is always the hardest at national team level as you have 23 players that come who play at different clubs, under different coaches and play different ways,” Arnold said.

“But the last two camps we’ve worked very hard on our attacking patterns, our combination play and you can see it coming together.

WATCH: Taggart scores his second after flowing team move

“It’s great to see Taggart score a couple of goals and Jamie come on and scoring as well.

“We’re creating chances and you can see the movement is getting better and better each camp. That’s the most important thing.”

The huge win continues the Caltex Socceroos’ perfect start on the road to Qatar, with three wins from three qualifying matches.

Australia’s next match is another away fixture, travelling to Amman in November to take on Jordan.

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