Socceroos attacker Marco Tilio will attempt to revive his stalled club career in the A-League after returning to Melbourne City on loan from Celtic.
Less than eight months ago Tilio left City to join the Scottish champions on a five-year deal reportedly worth about $2.9m.
However, having had an injury “issue” when he joined Celtic, according to Hoops manager Brendan Rodgers, Tilio was behind the eight-ball immediately.
He has only played 27 minutes – across two Scottish Premierships appearances off the bench – of first-team football this season.
Despite his lack of football, Tilio was selected for Asian Cup duty with the Socceroos.
His only appearance thus far at the tournament was as a stoppage-time substitute in Australia’s 1-1 draw with Uzbekistan last week.
Desperate for regular football. Tilio is “thrilled” to have rejoined City – who meet the Glory in Perth on Friday night – for the rest of the A-League season.
“The memories and experiences from my time here are unforgettable, and I can’t wait to contribute to the team’s success once again,” the 22-year-old forward said.
“The support from the fans has always been incredible, and I’m eager to create more memorable moments together this season.”
City coach Aurelio Vidmar said the club was “delighted” to welcome back a player of Tilio’s “calibre”.
“His technical ability, vision and ability to run at defenders will make him an asset to our team,” Vidmar said.
“We’re confident his return will provide a boost as we look to continue to climb the table across the back end of the season.”
City director of football Michael Petrillo said: “We’re thrilled to have Marco back at City. His impact during his previous stay with us was significant, and we believe his technical skills, pace and work ethic will add another dimension to our attack.”
Tilio’s loan deal comes a day after City announced the signing of former Socceroos midfielder Jimmy Jeggo from Scottish club Hibernian.
However, Socceroos defender Aziz Behich has left City to join Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr on loan for the rest of the season.