Amateur scouting of potential visa players for Australia’s A-League is one of the guilty pleasures I enjoy in between “real world” commitments. I scour player databases looking for players who I believe are realistic options for Australian clubs and would add something to the league rather than just fill a spot in the roster. In doing this I somewhat satisfy the frustrated football club manager/owner in me.
Below are the Top 5 for Monday. I have to say the amount of affordable, quality out and out strikers available is on the light side, in fact, there are none in this ten. Also I didn’t look at anyone who was over 30 and wasn’t available on a free. When I mention “value” for players who are on a free, think of it as close to what you’d have to pay them a season.
Is a 28 y.o. Dutch defensive midfielder who spent the majority of his career playing for FC Twente but most recently lined up for Trent Sainsbury’s PEC Zwolle. He was a Dutch youth international and even played three senior internationals between 2009-2010.
This 181cm Brazilian-Italian centre back has just left the beleaguered Italian side Parma. His experience as a defender in Serie A – wracking up more ninety appearances with Parma and Napoli – could serve any Aleague team well. At 28, he’s at a good age both physically and mentally for a defender.
The 22 year old Dutch attacking midfielder comes from the Fulham U21s but has played in the first team in the Premier League and in Cup games. He’d be familiar with Australia having been coached by Scott Miller and played alongside Aussies Adam Taggart, Ryan Williams, and Cameron Burgess. He also has experience playing in Holland and has represented the Netherlands at youth level. His age also represents potential for a good return on investment if he is sold on.
Possibly the most ambition suggestion on this list given his age and potential. Jankovic is available from Parma and the young Serb was an important part of the Youth World Cup winning team at the recent U20 tournament in New Zealand. His age (20) and pedigree mean the ROI potential is very high and valued at 300,000 would mean a lot of clubs could be in for what might be considered a bargain.
The Brazilian is a tricky attacking midfielder who can play as a secondary striker. He has spent most of his career in Italy’s lower divisions, most notably with Crotone in Serie B. I think his style of running with the ball and taking on players will frustrate and wow Aleague crowds in equal measure. The Aleague has had a lot of hit and misses with Brazilian players in its short history, so like any potential signing trialling the player first is imperative.