After Melbourne Victory’s bombshell decision to axe manager Marco Kurz after just 13 games in charge, the search for a new manager can begin – if it hasn’t already.

But could the A-League powerhouse appoint Socceroos legend Harry Kewell? We weigh up the pros and cons for the manager and the club.

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Kewell is a legend of the Australian game, with plenty of experience at the elite level – having made over 400 career appearances at teams like Liverpool and Leeds United.

In that time, he’s learned under some of the great managers of the modern age, most notably Rafael Benitez with the Reds.

It’s a footballing education many managers would be envious of.

He’s also a beloved Socceroo, and his personal popularity across the country would be a significant drawcard for fans – no small matter, especially if the team continues to struggle for the remainder of the season. That’s not to mention his attractiveness for sponsors.

He also maintains a strong relationship with Australian footballers, as a member of the executive of the Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) – the union for professional players across the country. What Australian player wouldn’t want to play for one of this nation’s greatest exports?

That’s especially true for young players, who Kewell has regularly got the best out in his short time as a manager so far.

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Kewell understands the Australian football environment, with its unique challenges and strengths.

He also knows the club, having played there in 2011 – before joining their rivals Melbourne Heart (now City) later in his career.

It could be a match made in heaven, but it’s certainly a high-risk appointment.

In stark contrast to his stellar record as a player, Kewell has so far struggled to make the transition into coaching.

Starting out as manager of Premier League side Watford’s youth team in 2015, he then received his first senior coaching role with League Two club Crawley Town in May 2017.

On one of the league’s smallest budgets, he guided Crawley to 14th, having taken over following a season in which Crawley were firmly entrenched in a relegation battle.

Early the following season, Kewell jumped ship to fellow League Two side Notts County.

The decision backfired spectacularly. Kewell guided Crawley out of the relegation zone but was sacked in November 2018 after just 14 games in charge (3W, 4D, 7L).

He has since repeatedly spoken of his shock at the owner’s decision to punt him November 2018 axing.

Kewell has not managed since then, despite being linked to multiple jobs in England’s lower tiers.

But would a move to Australia entice him?

Victory axed Marco Kurz after an equalling the club’s worst-ever start to a season.

Arguably, it would be a strong place to get his fledgling coaching career back on track.

Melbourne has the resources to bring in the players he wants, plus plenty of talented youngsters – something he used to good effect at Crawley.

And he’ll have plenty of time to plan, assuming Victory sticks with Carlo Salvachua as caretaker manager for the rest of the season. Salvachua was brought in by former Victory boss Kevin Muscat in 2018 as an assistant manager, and remained in that role under Marco Kurz.

But – and here’s the sticking point – of last year that he was hoping to remain in Europe.

Speaking about a potential gig at an A-League expansion or existing side, “It’s great that we’re expanding the A-League, everyone’s been crying out for it but I think my focus now as a manager is on England and in Europe.

“I’d never rule it out it’s just that I’ve had some really positive meetings recently with European based clubs but I’m looking to pick the right club this time.”

A career in the limelight: Harry Kewell with the FIFA Confederations Cup trophy in 2017.

Victory is one of the biggest clubs in Australia – the biggest, by many metrics.

Kewell wouldn’t be taking over a team fighting against relegation, as he did in England. He would have time to build a long-term project – although Victory has just shown, once again, that they can be impatient for results.

But, assuming Victory keep Salvachua in the hot seat for the rest of the season, Kewell has plenty of time to prepare for a title charge next year.

It’s a massive risk for Victory, but an incredible opportunity for Kewell – if he throws his hat in the ring.