Socceroos coach Graham Arnold wants his young guns to earn transfers that will deliver senior minutes, rather than jumping at big-money, high-profile moves.

Speaking ahead of the Socceroos’ clash with Argentina in China on Thursday, Arnold said players had to be patient. 

Talented left-back Jordan Bos has joined Belgian Pro League club Westerlo after a breakout season with Melbourne City, while former teammate Aiden O’Neill has joined Standard Liège.

Marco Tilio also faces a decision on his next step after starring in the A-League Men, while Garang Kuol struggled for minutes on loan at Hearts in the Scottish Premiership after his bumper move to the Premier League’s Newcastle United.

“For me, it’s one step at a time. Don’t take that next step too high,” Arnold told reporters.

“Because sometimes there’s agents involved and agents involved like to put players [in clubs and] — they go too quickly up the ladder.

“It’s more about the next step is making sure wherever they go, they’re going to play.

Aiden O’Neill has made a move to the Belgian league.()

“There’s no use making a transfer going from the A-League, being a star in the A-League, playing for the junior national teams, and playing 20-25 games in Australia to going over to Europe and the level of the club potentially is too high, that they’re not going to start and then if they don’t start they sit on the bench for two or three years.

“That’s the most important time of their careers. Money shouldn’t be number one from the age of 18 to 26, 25. It should be about education, it should be about playing a lot of football.

“Most players earn their money between the ages of 26 and 32. That’s when they get more rewarded for their form or performance or their qualities. It’s not in the early 20s.”

O’Neill follows the likes of Maty Ryan, Danny Vukovic and Trent Sainsbury to play in Belgium.

“Standard de Liège from Belgium is a fantastic club,” Arnold, who had his own stint in Belgium as a player with RFC Liège and Charleroi, said.

“It’s a top-three club in Belgium and expectations and everything of the club is huge.

“Belgium is like Holland. If anything, it’s a little bit more physical than the Dutch league but it’s a highly-respected league.

“The fact that Aiden will get to play 40-odd games a year is fantastic for him.”

Socceroos face tough test against world champions

The Socceroos face a tough task against the world champions Argentina in Beijing, but despite missing a plethora of big names, including Craig Goodwin, Aziz Behich, Milos Degenek, Jackson Irvine and Aaron Mooy, Arnold expects the team to go out to win.

With Goodwin (hip) sidelined, Marco Tilio and Garang Kuol away with the Olyroos and Awer Mabil left out, Arnold’s wing options are somewhat limited, with a formation change likely.

“At the moment, my expectation is to go out there and win the game,” Arnold said.

“You’ve got to have those expectations and deliver that belief to the players for those type of things to happen.”

Left-back Jordan Bos will make his first international start while O’Neill will partner Baccus in midfield.

Central defender Alessandro Circati could debut off the bench, with Harry Souttar and Kye Rowles pencilled in to start.

Fans have been following Messi and Argentina across Beijing.()

With most of the international — and local — focus likely to be on Messi, Arnold has warned his team that there are 10 other players they need to watch out for on the pitch. 

“[Messi is] obviously, a fantastic player. But we’ll have a way to do what we did at the World Cup,” Arnold said.

“I felt that we did very, very well til about the 43rd minute on him. And we’ll do the same again but it’s not just about him.

“They’ve got some incredible players outside of him as well. So you can’t just focus on that one player, but obviously, be extremely aware of him when he is in possession.”

Arnold wanted his charges to be “brave” and take it up to Argentina in possession.

“But the focus needs to be on our own performance and if there’s one thing that we could do better than what we didn’t do in the last was in possession,” he said.

“Keeping possession better and making sure that we’re making them do some running and some chasing, and that we’ll be in their faces for 90 minutes defensively.”