Tom Rogic finally secures new club but will he be ready for Socceroos World Cup campaign?

Australia playmaker Tom Rogic faces a race against time to prepare for World Cup 2022 after finally joining a new club – ending an extended period in the wilderness.

The 29-year-old was confirmed to be joining English Championship side West Bromwich Albion on a one-year deal nearly four months after he announced he was leaving Celtic.

It will be the first time Rogic has played outside of Australia for a club other than Celtic, with the midfielder spending nine years with the Scottish giants after joining in 2013.

MORE: Socceroos World Cup squad: Australia’s projected team and possible starting side for Qatar 2022 | Socceroos centenary jersey sells out within hours

But Rogic is not expected to be a part of Graham Arnold’s Socceroos squad for the upcoming two friendlies against New Zealand with his current match fitness unknown.

With Qatar World Cup 2022 set to commence in a little over two months, Rogic faces a race against time to prove his form and fitness with West Brom ahead of football’s showpiece event.

Rogic last played for his national team on February 1 against Oman in the World Cup qualifying campaign, missing the last five matches, with his absence in the World Cup playoffs because of personal reasons.

He would be an automatic selection for Australia even if he was slightly short of his peak powers on the pitch, but question marks remain on whether he can reach that level at West Brom prior to the announcement of the Socceroos’ World Cup in around six weeks.

After joining the Championship, Rogic explained he felt ‘refreshed’ after his extended break and that he took time to find a club because he wanted to make sure it was ‘right’.

“I was looking for a change of scenery and a fresh challenge,” Rogic said.

“I didn’t just want to rush into anything. I think it was important for me to take my time and make sure my next club was the right club.

“I had some time to reflect and I now feel refreshed, re-energised and excited about the future.

“I’m really looking forward to getting started at Albion.”

Rogic will play at the Baggies under experienced English manager Steve Bruce, who has coached most of his career in the Premier League at the likes of Newcastle, Sunderland and Hull City.

Bruce was excited to be working with the creative Australian, describing him as a ‘serial winner’.

“Tom is a quality player who has played nearly 300 games for Celtic, including a significant number of games just last season,” Bruce said.

“He has proven to be a quality player, a serial winner, and a top professional. He can play in several positions across midfield and I’m confident he will prove to be a great acquisition for the club.

“I’m delighted to have him with us.”


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *