With the new campaign looming closer and closer, every A-League club will be looking to strengthen their squad by signing new players or promoting some from their respective academies.
Despite the fact that some teams have already brought in a decent number of reinforcements, it’s safe to say there is not a single squad that’s looking like the finished product at the moment.
In this series, we will take 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.
Adelaide United: Left-back, Attacking Midfielder
The departures of Strain, Smith, and Marrone have left Adelaide with only two senior full-backs in the team.
Espanyol legend Javi Lopez will logically slot in at right-back after the transfer of Strain which leaves Kitto and Cavallo the only options for the left-flank. Both are players who usually thrive higher up the pitch and can be a liability when starting on the left of the defence.
The best scenario for The Reds will be if they could find a native player to fill that void which will allow them to spend big on the other position that they really need strengthening in.
Signing a marquee playmaker seems like the biggest challenge for United in this transfer window. Carl Veart has said on a couple of occasions that the team lacks the creativity of a real number 10.
Aquiring a Davila-esque type of player to feed the likes of Halloran, Goodwin, and Yengi could elevate Adelaide’s game to the next level and make them real contenders for the A-League championship.
Brisbane Roar: Goalkeeper, Centre-Back
Last season the biggest problem for Warren Moon was the lack of consistent goal-scorers but after the signings of Mileusnic, Lescano, and Ivanovic it looks like that issue has been settled. Now the two positions that need attention are between the sticks and in the heart of defence.
Following the departure of Jamie Young, the only keeper with A-League experience at the club is Macklin Freke.
He is indeed a talented goalkeeper yet it seems unlikely that he will get the number one shirt come the commencement of the new campaign.
Moon won’t have to look too far for a center-back replacement for Gillesphey as well given the fantastic breakthrough season that Kai Trewin had.
Brisbane will only need to sign or promote another young defender to the first team who’s versatile enough to cover for Aldred, Neville, and Trewin.
Central Coast Mariners: Right-back, Defensive Midfielder
After the signings of Noah Smith from Adelaide and Nicolai Muller from Western Sydney, now the most pressing issues for The Mariners will be to find replacements for right-back Stefan Nigro and defensive midfielder Gianni Stensness.
Despite not being the most modern-day full-back, Nigro was still a vital player for CCM and one that provided defensive solidity and gave the likes of Bouman and De Silva the platform to express themselves.
Academy graduate Lewis Miller will do his best to impress new head coach Nick Montgomery during pre-season but even if he succeeds and wins a spot in the 11, cover will be needed.
Finding a successor for Kiwi international Gianni Stensness seems even harder at the moment. The ex-Wellington midfielder had two excellent seasons under Stajcic and formed a brilliant partnership with Oliver Bozanic which won him a transfer overseas.
Securing a player with the same profile will be a tough task but the two key traits that should be looked at are ball-winning and dribbling, two things that Stensness is very good at.
Macarthur FC: Defensive midfielder, Right-Back
Macarthur FC have showed immense ambition in their first season in the A-League.
Having already added massive firepower and defensive quality this summer, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly who could do a job where.
After the recent departure of Genreau and the retirement of Benat and Milligan, it looks like another body in the middle of the park could be of use. Jordon Mutch does look like a solid option at number eight but they will still need to sign someone to provide defensive solidity for the Campbelltown-based outfit.
New arrival Tomi Uskok is capable of playing the Milligan role but he lacks the gorgeous passing ability of Benat.
It will be really difficult to find a player who can provide both yet if the Bulls manage to pull it off they could be challenging for silverware come the end of the campaign.
Another position in which Milicic would likely wish to have more depth is right-back. After Ivan Franjic and Yianni Nicolaou left the club at the end of June, signing another right-back capable of playing on the front foot could bolster the team.
Jake McGing and Liam Rose are the current options for that position but they’re both defend-first type of players. Lachlan Rose can be used as the right-wing-back when playing with a back-three but he on the other hand lacks the defensive awareness.