Socceroos squad 2020: Reno Piscopo could make Socceroos’ debut
Italy’s loss very much looks Australia’s gain when it comes to exciting youngster Reno Piscopo.
After 10 years honing his craft in Italy, the 21-year-old is making a solid case to become the latest player to break into Graham Arnold’s Socceroos outfit.
A youth international for Italy having spent years in the academy squads of Serie A clubs Inter Milan and Torino, the Melbourne-born Piscopo only debuted for the Olyroos as Australia secured qualification for this month’s AFC Under-23 championship in Thailand.
Watch every Hyundai A-League game LIVE & On-Demand on KAYO. New to Kayo? Get your 14-day free trial & start streaming instantly >
He shone in that event as Australia reached the final step in Olympic qualifying before then being snapped up by A-League team Wellington Phoenix on a three-year deal.
Piscopo scored a wonderful free-kick in the 1-1 draw with Iraq, was heavily involved in the 2-1 win over the hosts and set up Ramy Najjarine’s strike in the 1-1 draw with Bahrain which sealed Australia’s spot in the quarter-finals of the tournament.
It’s form which certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by Arnold, who is also leading the Olyroos in Thailand as they attempt to reach their first Olympics since 2008.
“The kid’s doing fantastic … no-one really knew about the kid until we got him in Cambodia with the Olyroos,” Arnold said.
“He’s got a great future ahead of him. The good thing about the kid is he’s so level headed. He knows it comes down to hard work and he’s doing exceptionally well.”
To do that, Australia need to win their quarter-final on Sunday and then either reach the final or win the third-place playoff.
MORE FOOTBALL NEWS:
A hip flexor injury means German-based Joshua Ross is already out of the remainder of the tournament.
Melbourne City’s Denis Genreau is being kept with the squad for now but missed the Bahrain game with an ankle injury and is almost certain to be unavailable for the quarter-final at least.
With two players already out, Arnold says it’s time for more of his squad to match Piscopo’s efforts to ensure Australia’s 12-year Olympic drought is finally broken.
“We need other players around him to step up as well,” Arnold said.
Originally published as Could Italy’s loss be Socceroos’ gain?