A managerial shakeup at Leicester City might pave the way for defender Harry Souttar to stay with the newly promoted Premier League club, according to Socceroos coach Graham Arnold.

Souttar struggled for playing time last season, managing only 188 minutes across four appearances under head coach Enzo Maresca, who has since moved to Chelsea. He attempted a transfer in January but remained with the Foxes, not featuring in the latter part of their successful promotion campaign from the English Championship.

Despite his club struggles, Arnold continued to select Souttar, recognizing his potential as a defensive leader and future Australia captain, while stressing the need for regular game time at the club level.

With Maresca’s departure, Souttar’s future at Leicester, where he is contracted until the end of the 2027-2028 season, has become uncertain. Arnold believes the change in management could alter Souttar’s prospects, potentially giving him a fresh start under the new leadership or prompting another attempt to move.

“I’ve already had a good conversation with him,” Arnold said ahead of Thursday’s World Cup qualifier against Bangladesh in Dhaka. “If the previous manager had stayed, his decision might have been clearer. But with a new manager coming in, things could be different.

“Harry looks great and hopefully will deliver a strong performance to boost his profile. However, I emphasized that he needs to resolve his club situation once he returns to the UK after this camp. He’s had two challenging years with limited playtime due to his ACL injury, and it’s crucial for his development in his mid-20s to gain consistent game experience.”

Arnold faces a welcome dilemma with his defensive options, having to choose from four capable center-backs. Cameron Burgess will join the Premier League with Ipswich Town, Alessandro Circati has achieved Serie A promotion with Parma, and Kye Rowles has been a reliable presence for Hearts.

“We might consider changing the system to accommodate all four center-backs in the future, but for these two games, each will start at some point,” Arnold said. “I’m eager to see how they perform with two starting in each game.”