Five Biggest A-League Transfers
October 29, 2014
The tenth edition of the Hyundai A-league will be one of the most exciting seasons yet. The league’s proven stars are set to shine again while new names will be expected to impress. With Australian clubs continuing to grow their support, bringing in big names isn’t just about winning games but also putting bums on seats and selling merchandise.
Melbourne Heart has been re-branded Melbourne City after being bought by Manchester City and it appears the new strip isn’t the only similarity to the reigning English Premier League Champions. City has acquired some world renowned players ahead of the new season one of which has won just about everything the game has to offer. But they’re not the only club who’s hoping new signings can deliver the title. A two times A-league champion will look to win it again with a new club, while Sydney FC is putting its faith in a current international captain. So in no particular order here’s 5 names that you can bet will make the difference in season 2014 / 15.
A Spanish Superstar
They say start with your best foot forward so let’s begin by highlighting one of the best players to to come out of Spain, who’s left and right feet are both brilliant. David Villa may only feature in a 10 game guest stint for Melbourne City but that’s surely enough time for the Spanish striker to rack up a hatful of goals. While Spain’s all time leading scorer may not be at the peak of his powers anymore, he was still scoring in the Europe for Atletico Madrid earlier this year. Villa is a true hitman, clinical and classy; he WILL slot goals if given good service. He’s bamboozled keepers from free kicks while his precision from the penalty spot will have defenders desperate to stay on their feet in the box.
Villa’s reputation alone is off-putting enough for opponents but his pedigree will surely draw crowds wherever he goes. The World Cup, European Cup, Champions League and La Liga League winner comes with a huge reputation the likes only Robbie Fowler and Allesandro Del Piero have experienced before. City fans will be constantly expecting something special while supporters in general will be hoping he’s a hit, just not against their side. The pressure is on Villa to perform but the man that’s seen it all before should have no problems proving the hype is worth it.
Robert Ready to Lead City
Sticking with City and it’s actually a former English Premier League player who’s Melbourne’s marquee man. Slovenian Robert Koren penned a 2 year deal with City earlier in 2014, transferring directly from FA Cup runners up Hull City. The 33 year old who captained Slovenia at the 2010 World Cup still has some solid football left in him and he’ll be hoping to provide the bullets for Villa.
Koren is an energetic and attacking midfielder with an imaginative mind. He’ll use flare to open up defences while his guile and experience should see him win many midfield battles. City coach John Van ‘t Schip believes Koren is a natural leader and expects his younger players to learn from the international.
Massive Marc has a Mammoth Task
Marc Janko has massive boots to fill as Sydney FC’s marquee man. That’s figuratively speaking not literally… With the Austrian replacing the diminutive Del Piero. He won’t have the same off filed affect the Italian had on the A-League but Janko hopes his performances on the pitch will lead to the Sky Blues to becoming a force once again. He was a regular goal scorer at European clubs Porto and FC Twente before a tough spell with Turkish club Trabzonspor. But if the 196cm giant gets decent crosses he believes his head will do the rest. 17 goals in 40 games with his country, isn’t a bad ratio and he’ll be looking for similar if not higher numbers with Sydney.
Albanian Assassin Eye’s Victory with Melbourne
Melbourne Victory’s marquee man is a proven goal scorer in the competition. Besart Berisha has netted 48 times in 76 A-League appearances for the Brisbane Roar on his way to winning two championships with the Queenslanders. His big money move to Melbourne has looked seamless after he bagged a brace against Perth in a pre-season friendly before firing in a hat-trick against Tuggeranong United in the FFA Cup.
Perth Hoping For Luck of the Irish
Former Chelsea star Damien Duff may be the most recognised Irishman to join the A-League this season but Perth Glory are hoping they’ll have the luck of the Irish after landing international Andy Keogh. While Duff will add a toughness and determination to Melbourne City’s squad, Keogh will be crucial to the Western Australian chances. The 28 year old who has played for Leeds United, Scunthorpe United, Wolves and Millwall amongst a well-travelled career in England will spearhead Perth’s attack and he’s already opened his account with the club. The Irish forward delivered a double for the Glory against Newcastle in the FFA cup.
That’s just 5 of a few big transfers that should shake up the A-League this season, while AFC Champions League finalists Sydney Wanderers will hope former Dutch international Romeo Castelen will do the business for them after signing the 31 year old from RKC Waalwijk in Holland. There are plenty more across all 10 teams that could produce moments of magic, for now we wait and see which transfer will be top and who’ll be the flops.