AFC Asian Cup 2019: Australia superstar ruled out of continental showpiece

Aaron Mooy

Australia and Huddersfield City midfielder Aaron Mooy has been ruled out of the AFC Asian Cup due to a knee injury. James Jeggo will take his place in the Socceroos squad as Australia prepare to defend their title in UAE.

Mooy was included in the initial 23-man squad announced by the FFA, however, post assessment by chief physio Phil Coles, the 28-year-old was officially ruled out of the tournament.

“It is disappointing to lose Aaron for the tournament however it was important that we left no stone unturned in exploring every option to get Aaron on the pitch for Australia in the UAE,” Australia coach Graham Arnold said.

“We will remain in close contact with Aaron and Huddersfield Town during his rehabilitation and trust that he will make a successful return to action. In making the assessment on the injury we agreed Aaron would need at least another month to return to fitness.

“In a best-case scenario, this would mean he would not be ready to play until after the quarter-final stage [24-25 January 2019]. With so many games in such a short period we felt it would be best to bring in a player that is fully fit and ready to go from the outset,” he added.

On Austria Wien’s James Jeggo’sinclusionn, the Socceroos coach said, “James has been performing really well in Austria and is a fantastic character, so we are very happy to have him join the squad. Initially, James was very unlucky to miss out on the squad, but sometimes these things happen in football and we are glad we can provide him with this opportunity.

“James has thrived at club level playing in a defensive midfield role and with three attacking central midfielders already in the squad, we felt we needed someone with James’ attributes to provide some depth in that area.”