18+ | Don’t let the game play you | Stay in control. Gamble responsibly | Gamblinghelponline.org.au
The new season is nearly upon us now and squads should be taking shape ahead of the big kick-off. Here we'll be taking a look through the latest A-League transfer news including moves that have already been signed, sealed and delivered and those where rumours are just starting to bubble under the surface.
Latest A-League Transfer News & Rumours
Macarthur FC? More like disaster FC!
If we're talking about A-League news then it's only right that we kick off with the fallout from Macarthur FC.
The Bulls had seen a couple of high profile exits from their squad over the offseason; most notably in the shape of Matt Derbyshire, who scored 14 goals for them last season, and the retiring Mark Milligan. Of course, new faces have arrived too. Jordon Mutch swapped the Western Sydney Wanderers whilst his former Cardiff City teammate, Craig No one, signed from Melbourne City. Ahead of them, Tomi Juric is the man the club hope will replace the goals of Derbyshire.
All seems well, no? Well, it was. The retiring Milligan was to step into an assistant manager role with Adam Federici taking on the skippers armband. That plan rapidly fell apart. Milligan walked away from the club and Federici has announced his retirement due to injury. It leaves the club facing massive questions as to their strategy both on and off the pitch.
Perth gunning for Glory
A-League transfers don't come much bigger than Daniel Sturridge; the former England international who has played for English giants Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool, rocked up at Perth Glory ahead of the new campaign. He was a free agent after leaving Trabzonspor in Turkey. The sharpshooter is a phenomenal talent and, if he a) gets fit and b) stays fit could tear the league apart; whether he'll do that or not remains to be seen. During his period in Turkey, he played 16 games across all competitions – including a couple of matches in the Europa League – and netted seven goals.
Adrián Sardinero is another attacking move Perth have made in the market; the attacker had 10 goal involvements last season from 32 appearances with OFI Crete. It's not all good news for Perth fans though; they've lost promising right back Dane Ingham to Newcastle and although they've bought in a replacement full-back in Antonee Burke-Gilroy he has big boots to fill.
Champions building for title defence
Melbourne City won their first-ever A-League title last season after going close the year before. Based on their transfer window, they don't intend on giving up their crown very easily. 23-year-old Jordon Hall has come in from Green Gully; he is unlikely to be too much of a regular but does add depth to their defensive options. At the other end of the pitch, the signing of Manuel Pucciarelli is one that has raised a few more eyebrows. Pucciarelli barely played last season so match sharpness might take a little while to find but it wasn't too long ago that he was being sold for millions of Euros in Italy; he has notched a few goals in the top tier – Serie A – in his career too so you'd expect him to be able to impact things in the A-League.
As big A-League transfer news goes though, neither of those signings caused anywhere close to the stir as the arrival of Matthew Leckie. Leckie left Hertha Berlin at the end of his contract after spending a decade in Germany; he originally moved to Borussia Monchengladbach from Adelaide back in 2009. Leckie comes back to Australia as a) the national team captain and b) with huge experience; he's racked up 139 Bundesliga appearances and a further 91 in the second tier. This one signing could be critical to Melbourne City retaining their title.
The battle for Jack Rodwell
Jack Rodwell is a name that is long forgotten by most; the prospect of his arrival in Australia is a piece of A-League transfer news that has caught the attention of a fair few though. It's not just fans either with a few clubs battling for his signature. He landed on the scene with a bang back in 2007, has made appearances for England and has won a Premier League title but despite all of that he's only played the equivalent of 156 games in his career; that's not enough for a 30-year-old that debuted aged 16.
The latest A-League news suggests the most likely destination for Rodwell is with Western Sydney Wanderers but Macarthur FC also expressing serious interest. There is a reason nothing has been officially announced though; that's concerns over Rodwell's ability to stay fit. His wages in the A-League – regardless of who signs him – will be well south of the £100k per week he's previously earned in England but they'll still be a big chunk of a teams salary cap. If Wanderers decide the risk outweighs the reward in that sense then Macarthur becomes another very viable option.
Melbourne looking for more Victory this year
Melbourne Victory had a shocker last season finishing bottom of the standings having won a measly five games. They've reacted this offseason though and have perhaps been the most mentioned team amongst A-League transfer news. On the departures side, Callum McManaman and Rudy Gestede have both moved on to pastures new with Tranmere Rovers in England and Panetolikos respectively. Elvis Kamsoba, who scored five goals last year, is another offensive loss; he's joined Sydney FC. Then there is the duo of Adama Traore and So Nishikawa; that's two left-backs that have both left Melbourne forcing the team into the market for a new left-sided full-back.
A churn of players isn't necessarily a problem when you consider what a poor outfit Victory was last season; it has meant they've needed to be highly active in the market though. They completed a double swoop for Olyroos man Nick D'Agostino and Christopher Oikonomidis; they both arrive from Perth Glory. In respect of the left-back hole we mentioned, Jason Davidson has been brought in to fill that void. The 30-year-old former Socceroo has come in from Ulsan Hyundai in the K League.
Victory will be hoping Davidson can help sure up the defensive unit; they conceded more goals than anyone else in the league last year. Davidson won't have to do it by himself though. Roderick Miranda, a former Portugal youth international who was with English Premier League side Wolves just 18 months ago, is the man who will shoulder most of that pressure; Matthew Spiranovic, Brendan Hamill and Jason Geria are all centres back too so the depth has improved considerably on last season.
We obviously haven't covered 100% of the A-League transfers but we feel we've touched on the biggest moves. With some big names arriving, plenty of roster changes and the season just a few weeks away it promises to be an exciting campaign.