Sign Them Up!

Tuesday’s five again focuses on the spine of a team.  An affordable and realistic striking option is still proving elusive but there are Australian strikers such as Scott MacDonald, Tomi Juric, and Eli Babalj available should an Aleague club be interested. The hunt for an out and out striker continues though.

David Babunski

A product of La Masia, the Macedonian international has been playing in the Segunda Division with Barcelona B. At only 21, the winger has one of my favourite commodities for the financially struggling Aleague teams; resale value. His highlights show a player comfortable with the ball at his feet and facing up defenders who can find his players in good positions. His father Boban was a professional player and his brother is a centre forward in the Real Madrid Academy.

Jan-Arie van der Heijden

The former Dutch youth international and product of the Ajax academy can play either centre back or as a defensive midfielder. The twenty seven year old has had plenty of experience in the Eredivisie, playing almost 200 senior games. He would be at the higher end for visa signings we have in the Aleague that aren’t marquees but could prove to be a player you could build the next three or four years around.

Cristian Ceballos

Ceballos is another product of La Masia system (there are a lot) who went on to join Tottenham Hotspur. Despite some eye-catching performances for the U21s, the secondary striker only made match day squads for the Premier League side without seeing any on field time. He was loaned to Portuguese side Arouca where he played 19 senior games. Only 175cm but good with his head and has a great work rate. Again his twenty two year old age represents potential for a profit if sold on.

Pablo Lima

Not to be confused with his older, left-back compatriot of the same name, the 24yo Uruguayan has spent his career as a defensive midfielder in the Uruguayan top flight. Lima would be available for reasonable money and bring a team some hard-nosed Uruguayan football know-how in the midfield.

Andrea Esposito

Andrea Esposito is an Italian centre back that has plenty of experience in the Serie A and Serie B. A good age for a centre back and could be an onfield leader for the younger players. At 29, a new challenge may be something he is interested in and a club could get another three or so good years out of him.

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