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Confederations Cup 2017: 10 Players To Watch

10. Matthew Ryan (Australia)

By Patrick-Leigh (Australia v Sth Korea AFC Asian Cup) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Without meaning to be too disrespectful to the chaps, that Australia's attack line at the ConfedCup will be spearheaded by a rather mossy Tim Cahill and an out-of-work Robbie Kruse suggests that offence may not be their forté. If Ange Postecoglou's Socceroos are to come away with anything from a very intimidating Group B, it'll be down to a solid defence. And goalkeeper Matthew Ryan will be absolutely key to that.

The Valencia stopper has struggled to establish a place in Los Che's starting line up, spending last season back in Belgium on loan at Genk, but for his national team he is undisputed first choice. Ryan has been highly rated for a while now - he was at the centre of a tussle for his signature two years ago, with Liverpool amongst the interested parties - to the extent that Brighton have drafted him in for a club record fee.

The Seagulls boasted the Championship's finest defence last season, with current no. 1 David Stockdale central to that. However, the stopper has been allowed to leave for Birmingham; a clear indicator of the faith being shown in his new Australian replacement.

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Editorial Team
Editorial Team

Benjamin was born in 1987, and is still not dead. He variously enjoys classical music, old-school adventure games (they're not dead), and walks on the beach (albeit short - asthma, you know). He's currently trying to compile a comprehensive history of video game music, yet denies accusations that he purposefully targets niche audiences. He's often wrong about these things.