Australia just got its 52nd Premier League player, with Caleb Watts making his debut in the world’s biggest league on Wednesday morning AEDT.
The 19-year-old Southampton player replaced Theo Walcott in the 74th minute in a 3-1 loss to Arsenal, and was evidently not overawed by the occasion in a promising showing.
He is the first Australian to debut in the Premier League since Mat Ryan (for Brighton) and Aaron Mooy (for Huddersfield) in August 2017.
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It comes one week after Watts made his senior debut for the Saints in the FA Cup, starting and lasting 85 minutes in a 2-0 win over Shrewsbury.
The versatile midfielder has previously represented Australia’s ‘Joeys’, the Under-17 representative team, including at the U17 World Cup in 2019 where he notched a goal and an assist.
Watts’ rapid rise could see him earn a shock role in the Olyroos squad set to compete in the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics later this year.
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He regularly starts for Southampton’s U23 side in the Premier League 2, in which he has played 18 games over the last two campaigns, but his impressive start to life in the senior squad could see him handed further opportunities by manager Ralph Hasenhuttl.
Fellow Australian Mat Ryan was on the bench for Arsenal during the game, the only other Australian to have featured in the Premier League this campaign.
Nine other youngsters eligible to represent Australia are currently on the books of Premier League academies in reserve teams or youth teams (not including those aged 16 or under).
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