Germany midfielder Nikolai Muller is in no doubt that his Central Coast team-mate Kye Rowles could become the latest male A-League talent to secure a transfer to a European club.
Rowles’ star has continued to rise over the past fortnight as the 23-year-old defender was called up to feature in the Socceroos squad for recent World Cup qualifiers against Vietnam and Oman.
He then put in an impressive performance in the FFA Cup final last weekend – while failing to prevent Melbourne Victory from grabbing the silverware at AAMI Park, he claimed a share of the medal Mark Viduka with opposing midfielder Jake Brimmer.
The accolades are fully deserved in the opinion of Muller, 32, who has been impressed with Rowles’ ability since joining the Mariners in the offseason.
“You think ‘oh, he’s a good player’ but you don’t recognize him when you’re at another club, but when you train with him every day and see in games, he’s a player unbelievable and with his age, I was so happy for him that he got an invitation from the national team,” Muller said.
“He’s a great player and I’m pretty sure his next stop would be Europe.
“I’m 100% (on that).”
Mariners manager Nick Montgomery, who made more than 350 England appearances during his playing career, said Rowles had prepared himself perfectly for a move overseas by taking the time to learn his trade in the ALM.
“Young players here have to play games and have to be prepared to go overseas because it’s brutal compared to here,” Montgomery said.
“A lot of players leave here too young. They leave with not enough games under their belt and unfortunately a lot of them end up in the A-League within six to 12 months.
“Kye is on the right path for any young player. He has international recognition and I have no doubt that Kye will go to a big club at some point… at the moment he is a Central Coast Mariners player and we are delighted to have him.”
Rowles and the Mariners host Macarthur at Gosford on Thursday night, with Central Coast yet to win in the league this year and Ante Milicic’s Bulls struggling to bounce back from a 3-1 loss to Wellington last weekend.
Montgomery challenged his team to focus on their championship campaign.
“If someone tells you that a cup final won’t be on your mind, I think that was for a lot of players and especially the young boys… but now it’s gone,” he said. -he declares.
“We have a lot of games to catch up on and we have to win them and score points, starting tomorrow night.”