With the new campaign looming closer, every A-League club will be looking to strengthen their squad by signing new players, with pre-season friendlies to commence soon.
In the third and final part of the series, Kick360 takes a look at the business each A-League club needs to do as a top priority until the season starts on the 30th of October.
Sydney FC: N/A
At the time of writing, Sydney FC is the only squad looking like the finished product almost two months before the start of the new campaign.
The Sky Blues were quick to secure the signings of Max Burgess, James Donachie, Connor O’Toole, and Elvis Kamsoba while also tying up some of their most important players with new contracts.
Fans have criticized their transfer policy, labeling it poor when comparing it to rival teams but just as Steve Corica said in an interview with NCA Newswire, they simply don’t need a giant overhaul considering the quality of players currently at the club.
No marquee signings have been made but valuable depth was added and if there are no departures until the end of October, it wouldn’t be surprising to not see any further additions.
Wellington Phoenix: Centre-Back, Winger
Not only are the Nix set for another year away from home but they have also struggled to find proper replacements for their departing stars.
10 players left Talay’s side this summer including captain and Johnny Warren Medalist Ulises Davila who has been Wellington’s best player for the past two years. Finding a successor for him and veteran defender Luke DeVere would be crucial for the team.
The gap left by Davila will most likely be filled by another foreign signing with a similar profile, capable of playing both out wide and as an inverted winger.
Following the return of Callan Elliot, the likelihood of Tim Payne playing as makeshift centre-back increases. Still, it would be vital to get more depth in that position after the departures of DeVere, Hudson-Wihongi, and McGing.
Western Sydney Wanderers: Striker, Central Midfielder
Western Sydney has had a very productive off-season in which the board has clearly backed head-coach Carl Robinson. They have signed the majority of their targets, leaving just a couple of squad spots to fill.
It’s hard to say where the Welshman would like to add more units having already fixed both ends of the pitch with the additions of Rhys Williams and Tomer Hemed.
Their lack of diversity in attack has been addressed too in Dimi Petratos joining the first-choice XI alongside Adama Traore and Terry Antonis.
Maybe a striker with a different profile to Hemed and a rotation option for midfield could be useful but not at all costs. Johnny Koutroumbis is capable of playing in the middle of the park and Bernie Ibini is a player that Robinson likes and will use as a nine.
Western United: Centre-Back, Striker
After a disappointing second season in the A-League, Western United decided that it’s time for a change. Mark Rudan left alongside nine senior players, most of whom were key to their success in the inaugural campaign.
Having secured a couple of good signings, the Truganina-based club will still need to find replacements for A-League veterans Besart Berisha and Andrew Durante.
Noah Botic and Dylan Wenzel-Halls are two new faces that are used to scoring goals but lack the physical presence and experience of Berisha.
Both could flourish under the guidance of ex-striker John Aloisi but it’s still hard to say that they are in the same bracket as the former Brisbane legend.
United have also brought in Nikolai Topo-Stanley to fill the hole left by Durante but more numbers will be needed. Imai is the only center-half left from the Rudan era and that won’t be enough, especially if Aloisi wants to deploy a back-three just like his predecessor.