Sam Kerr, Lionel Messi, Alou Kuol shortlisted; Garang Kuol seals Hearts’ loan move from Newcastle

The other Australian nominated in the FIFA Best lists is Alou Kuol, the older brother of Newcastle prodigy Garang, who is competing for the Puskas Award for best goal of the calendar year.

The 21-year-old scored a stunning ‘scorpion kick’ effort for Australia U23 side against Iran and his shot will be judged against 10 other belters including Mbappe’s stunning World Cup final runner-up.

Garang Kuol, meanwhile, believes he made the right decision in loaning three of his fellow Socceroos to Scottish Premier League club Hearts for the remainder of his season.

The brilliant 18-year-old attacker finally sealed his deal on Thursday after his Premier League club were inundated with offers for the youngster, who has been hailed as the hottest prospect in the Australian game.

Fresh from his World Cup exploits, where he became the youngest player to reach the knockout stage since Pele, Newcastle are pleased Kuol will be gaining valuable experience in British football alongside Kye Rowles, Cammy Devlin and Nathaniel Atkinson.

“I’m very happy to be here. I can’t wait to play here in front of these great fans. I just felt it was a great team, with great fans, a great stadium and a great history,” he said Kuol to Hearts TV after the deal was sealed.

Hearts' Socceroos contingent has grown to four, with Garang Kuol (second left) joining Nathaniel Atkinson, Cammy Devlin and Kye Rowles.

Hearts’ Socceroos contingent has grown to four, with Garang Kuol (second left) joining Nathaniel Atkinson, Cammy Devlin and Kye Rowles.Credit:Getty

“The gaffer (manager Robbie Neilson) also convinced me to come here with the plan he gave me for my development.

“Overall, the club has big ambitions and goals, and I wanted to be a part of that. I think it was a very good decision.”

Kuol knew Rowles well during her time with the Central Coast Mariners.

“He was one of the older players back then, but he’s a great guy and someone who helped me a lot,” said Kuol. “As for Cammy, I’ve known him since about September and we just bonded straight away.

Garang Kuol last month became the youngest player to feature in the knockout stages of the World Cup since the late Pele.

Garang Kuol last month became the youngest player to feature in the knockout stages of the World Cup since the late Pele.Credit:Getty Images

“I met all the other guys today and they all seem like great guys and I can’t wait to get to know them more.”

Kuol could be included straight into the squad for Friday night’s Premiership game against St Mirren if he gets his international clearance in time.

Elsewhere, another Matildas team-mate has secured a move to England for Kerr.

Striker Remy Siemsen has signed for Leicester City and calls her challenging move from Sydney FC “a dream come true”.

Remy Siemsen in action against Portugal in June.

Remy Siemsen in action against Portugal in June.Credit:Getty

The 23-year-old ended her third spell at Sydney with an appearance for the club on Christmas Eve but could find direct action for the struggling Foxes when WSL resumes with Leicester’s home game against Brighton on Sunday.

“Joining such a prestigious club is exciting for me and my family,” Siemsen told Leicester’s website.

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“We all grew up watching English football and to get to know and play with a club like Leicester City is a dream come true. Everyone was so welcoming and I already feel at home.”

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https://www.smh.com.au/sport/soccer/kerr-nominated-for-fifa-award-kuol-seals-hearts-loan-move-20230113-p5cc9s.html?ref=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_source=rss_sport Sam Kerr, Lionel Messi, Alou Kuol shortlisted; Garang Kuol seals Hearts’ loan move from Newcastle

Ryan Sederquist

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