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Australian Football: Luongo catches Arnold eye

Socceroos coach Graham Arnold has hailed the return to fitness of Massimo Luongo who is impressing with English League One outfit Sheffield Wednesday.

Australia are priced at 500/1 to win the 2022 World Cup but still have plenty of work to do to get there after their qualifying campaign hit hard times.

Luongo back in the mix

Australia have crucial World Cup qualifiers against Japan and Saudi Arabia on the horizon and there is a chance that Luongo could return to the Socceroos squad if he continues to impress.

The 29-year-old was a member of Australia's World Cup squads in 2014 and 2018 but has not made an appearance for the last two years after injuries struck.

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Following an 18-month injury lay-off Luongo is back playing regular football for the Owls and was named as their player of the month for January.

The tough-tackling midfielder has carried that form into February and it has not gone unnoticed by Arnold who is delighted to see the player enjoying his football again.

Arnold delight

"It's great that Mass is back," Arnold told AAP. "For me the most important thing for that kid now is that he's gone through a tough time with getting injuries, the most important thing is that kid's healthy again.

"He's fit again. He's happy again and he's back playing."

Australia need to win both matches to have any chance of automatic qualification but Arnold would not say whether Luongo would play a part.

"Everyone talks about all these different players, I'm only allowed to pick 23," he added.

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