A key component of the Socceroo’s Asia Cup success back in January, goalkeeper Mathew Ryan has proven similarly effective at club level this season.
Belgium Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year for the second successive campaign at the start of the year, it’s already been a year to remember for the 22-year-old at Club Brugge, after winning the Belgian Cup earlier this month.
Deserved 2-1 victors over Anderlecht in the showpiece final, Ryan was once again the star for the Blau-Zwart, keeping Brugge’s arch-rivals at bay with a string of impressive saves.
The fine performances have not just been limited to domestic appearances either, with the Australian youngster among the stars of Club Brugge’s surprise march to the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
His undoubted highlight came in the group phase, with Ryan putting in a man-of-the-match display to steal a 0-0 draw away from home against a Torino side that had triumphed on their previous four home outings in the competition.
The result put the Belgian’s on the brink of the knockout phase and further highlighted why Ryan is developing a reputation as one of best young keepers in European football at present.
It’s a reputation that has seen the 22-year-old linked with a move to Liverpool, a transfer rumour that the Australian seems rather happy to hear about.
Speaking to Tuttomercato back in January, Ryan appeared to open the door to a potential deal with the Anfield club.
"It is nice to read in the newspapers that teams like Liverpool are looking at you," he said.
"I am happy at Brugge, but obviously I want to prove myself because it would be great to take another step forward in my career."
With question marks still hanging over Simon Mignolet’s place as first-choice goalkeeper for Liverpool, Reds scouts could well be keeping close tabs on goings on in Kaiserslautern this week.
Australia are due to meet Germany in a friendly this Wednesday, with the game likely to offer up the clearest indication yet as to whether Ryan is ready for a Premier League move.
Star for the Socceroos again and those “nice” newspaper stories could just become reality for the 22-year-old.