Socceroos bolter Garang Kuol linked with Newcastle United

Australian football’s man of the moment is eyeing an “unreal” opportunity at the FIFA World Cup after making his Socceroos debut and closing in on a Premier League deal.

At 18-years-old, Garang Kuol became the youngest player to debut for the Socceroos since Harry Kewell when he came off the bench for an eye-catching cameo against New Zealand at Eden Park on Sunday.

Kuol flashed his explosive speed and fearless attitude in Auckland and one marauding run led to a penalty in Australia’s 2-0 win.

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The drums are beating for coach Graham Arnold to pick the Egypt-born attacker as an X-factor for Australia’s World Cup campaign, which opens against defending champions France on November 23.

“It would be unreal,” Kuol told Stan Sport FC.

“I remember Tim Cahill’s goal in 2014 against Netherlands. Me and my brother (fellow professional Alou) were re-making that in our backyard, breaking windows.”

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Kuol, on the books of the Central Coast Mariners, appreciated the licence he had been given from Arnold and Guus Hiddink, who joined the Socceroos for the two friendlies against the All Whites.

“You don’t want to be overcoached, you just want to be given that freedom,” Kuol said.

“If you go in scared you’re not going to be able to perform at your best. So you’ve just got to go in with no fear and just do your thing.”

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Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster said Kuol “did brilliantly” on debut and lavished praise on the teenager in his interview.

“Your performance against Barcelona (for the A-League All Stars) was just captivating. Every football fan in the country loved it,” Foster said.

“You just go at people, you want to attack, take people on, it’s fantastic to see.”

Arnold was careful not to add too much pressure onto Kuol’s slender shoulders but admitted his debut performance had given him plenty to ponder ahead of Qatar 2022.

“He showed some quality when he came on, but this is just the first step for him. I’ll go back and review it and have a close look at things… but it’s just refreshing to see the young faces, their energy was fantastic. It’s great that they’re knocking on the door,” he said.

“I wanted this to happen, I wanted to have headaches. I didn’t want to be sitting at home, and I’m thinking, ‘Oh, where am I going to get players from?’ They’ve shown me today, we can do it.”

Multiple reports out of England claim that Kuol is poised to sign with Newcastle United, while Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund and Stuttgart have also been linked in the media.

Mark Bosnich pressed Kuol on his club future but the forward would only confirm that “there’s something in the mixer.”

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