Who is the next Aaron Mooy in the Hyundai A-League?

With Australia's top league kicking off this Friday night, a global audience will again get to see the freshest talent in Australia's Hyundai A-League over the coming seven months.

And for EPL fans, it wasn't that long ago that the likes of Aaron Mooy of Huddersfield and Brighton's Mat Ryan were plying their trade in the A-League at clubs like Wanderers, Melbourne City and Central Coast Mariners.

Here are five players we reckon have the potential to follow in the footsteps of Caltex Socceroos Mooy and Ryan.

Melbourne City midfielder Aaron Mooy celebrates his exquisite free-kick against Glory last season.

 

And because the A-League runs across Australian and New Zealand clubs, are there Kiwis out there who can emulate Chris Wood and Winston Reid from Burnley and West Ham respectively?

We have that covered too.

BRANDON O'NEILL: SYDNEY FC

An absolutely crucial part of the double-winning side, this Aussie with the Irish accent bossed the FC midfield last season along with former Serie A Aussie Josh Brillante.

Mixing combative defence and tough tackling with an eye for spectacular free-kick goals, the Perth-born age-group international had a breakthrough season with the Sky Blues in 2016/17.

At 23, O'Neill is capable of taking the next step in his career and has potential for a strong European career.

Sydney FC midfielder Brandon O'Neill celebrates scoring in the Round 1 Sydney Derby.

 

RUON TONGYIK: MELBOURNE CITY FC

Caltex Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has been impressed with the composure of the 20-year-old centre-back who debuted in the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 season.

Comfortable in possession and physically imposing, the youth international looked instantly at home in the cauldron of Hyundai A-League action.

The Sudanese-born defender will benefit from playing alongside Danish veteran Michael Jakobsen at City and could well make a European move in the next few years.

Ruon Tongyik is knocking on the door of the Caltex Socceroos.

 

DANIEL ARZANI: MELBOURNE CITY

Tim Cahill is a big fan, taking the teenager under his wing at City.

After six appearances from the bench last season, the attacking midfielder is set for greater game time in 2017/18 and has already featured in the Westfield FFA Cup and City's pre-season campaign.

He even scored the winner from the penalty spot in a 1-0 friendly win over Western Sydney last week.

Melbourne City youngster Daniel Arzani in action against Perth Glory in Round 3.

 

JAKE BRIMMER: PERTH GLORY

Like Mooy, Brimmer went to the UK early in his career after Liverpool spotted the then 15-year during their memorable 2013 tour of Australia when they played in front of almost 100,000 fans at the MCG.

The Victorian is back in Oz after three years in the Reds academy (and once lining up with Steven Gerrard in an intra-club match) and looking for senior football after almost signing with Kaiserslautern.

The set piece specialist can now show why the Reds rated him so highly and at 19, he could develop into an EPL player of the future, for sure.

And with Diego Castro and Xavi Torres alongside him at Glory, he's going to learn even more.

Perth Glory's new recruit Jake Brimmer.

 

NEW ZEALAND;

And from New Zealand, football presenter and journalist Jason Pine reports on an unknown rising star with huge potential.

ELIJAH JUST: WESTERN SUBURBS (NZ)

The 17-year-old attacking midfielder could be the next footballing superstar to come out of New Zealand.

He's currently part of the New Zealand side about to take part in the FIFA under-17 World Cup in India.

Blessed with lightning quick feet, dazzling dribbling ability and an eye for spectacular goals, Just is a product of the Ole Football Academy in Wellington's northern suburbs, the same finishing school attended by current All Whites midfielder Ryan Thomas who now plies his trade in the Dutch Eredivisie with PEC Zwolle.

Just has already caught the eye of national coach Anthony Hudson and in the years ahead could follow All Whites stars Winston Reid and Chris Wood into both the New Zealand side and the English Premier League.