Socceroos star Harry Souttar plays down Premier League transfer talk

Previewing the Socceroos' do-or-die World Cup clash with Denmark (1:58)

ESPN's Joey Lynch provides an update from Australia's training base in Qatar ahead of their final group stage game at the World Cup. (1:58)

Australia defender Harry Souttar has moved to downplay speculation about a possible Premier League move but said he would welcome an opportunity to test himself at the "highest level."

Souttar, 24, put in a man-of-the-match display in the Socceroos' 1-0 win over Tunisia on Saturday, winning 100% of his attempted tackles and ground duels, making six clearances and putting in a late, game-saving challenge that won him plaudits across Australia.

Making the performance even more impressive, it was just the centre-back's third senior game since rupturing his ACL while representing Australia in a World Cup qualifier in November of last year. He and his teammates will now face Denmark on Wednesday knowing that a win, and likely a draw, would secure them a place in the round of 16.

The Aberdeen born defender's services are valued at £20 million by his club Stoke City prior to that injury, with Everton and Tottenham Hotspur amongst those linked to his signature. Talk of a Premier League move, potentially as soon as January, has recommenced in the wake of his performance against Tunisia but Souttar said his focus was firmly on Denmark.

"My focus has got to be on the here and now," he said.

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"If you ask every player, they want to play at the highest level they can but my focus is purely on Denmark and I'll let other people speak about all that for me, I don't need to do that. I just need to concentrate on my performances on the pitch. That's all I can say about that."

Formerly on the books of Brighton and Arsenal, Australia captain Maty Ryan has no doubts as to the qualities that Souttar brings to the pitch, or the work that he has done to rehabilitate his ACL.

"He's a big boy and has got great qualities," Ryan said after the Tunisia win. "We've seen that time and time again before his injury but the journey that he's been on to get back and give himself the possibility to play at a World Cup, only he knows the ins and outs of that, but full credit to him."

St Pauli midfielder Jackson Irvine was even more unequivocal in his praise, describing Souttar's display against Tunisia as one of the best ever in a Socceroo shirt. The titanic defender has been in contact with his agent since that performance but, by his telling, a move away from the Potters wasn't discussed.

"He was just delighted for me, he was really pleased for me," Souttar said. "Obviously the messages I have got from family and friends, it's nice to hear from them.

"But I don't think you can pay too much attention to it, we're one game away from criticism, you've got to take it with a pinch of salt. The focus has got to be on Denmark."