Football Season Guide

Melbourne City


Callum Talbot (def), transfer from Sydney FC, Thomas Lam (def), transfer from CSKA Sofia, Richard van der Venne (mid), transfer from RKC Waalwijk, Valon Berisha (mid), transfer from Stade de Reims.


Connor Metcalfe (mid) (k), transfer to St. Pauli, Colakovski (att) (sp), transfer to Perth Glory, Tsubasa Endoh (att) (sp), transfer to Los Angeles Galaxy, Ahmad Taleb (gk) (sp), transfer to Melbourne Victory, Rostyn Griffiths (def) (sp), transfer to Mumbai City, Anthony Lesiotis (mid) (sp), released, Manuel Pucciarelli (mid) (sp), released, Carl Jenkinson (def) (r), loan ended.

Few changes at the club pre-season but some noteworthy ones nonetheless. Predominantly it's been the axing of deadwood that has transpired but there have also been a few surprises. The biggest one was that they didn't sign Carl Jenkinson after an impressive loan spell. He obviously wanted to stay in Australia, ultimately signing for Newcastle Jets, but City didn't go in for him. It could be part of the 'commands' from above as City Group as a business are big on unearthing young talent, both for use at their 'main' clubs and also to generate profit. Outs - outcasts Pucciarelli and Lesiotis were unsurprisingly cut loose. Jenkinson - loan ended. Shouldn't be that big a problem with Galloway ready to step back in but there's no natural cover at RB anymore unless the intent behind signing Talbot was to use him at RB instead of LB. They'll miss having Griffiths as a solid performer to come into the backline when necessary but he wasn't a regular last season. Colakovski had enough chances and never took them so moving him on makes sense. Endoh never settled. The big one was Metcalfe though. Finding someone that can sit deep but also push forward effectively has been really tough. In fact, it doesn't look like they've even tried to find a replacement who can do that. Ins - following on from Metcalfe's departure, they've signed Berisha and van der Venne, both of which are gifted attacking midfielders that like to keep the tempo high. Both should be able to be considered as match-winners. Thomas Lam has joined to add extra security in defence although it's unclear who the main CB partnership will be. It surely has to be Good-Lam but Reis has a lot of experience, and is not in Australia to sit on the bench. They lack something when Good isn't playing though. Should be set for a good start to the season as this is a very settled group. May see a slight switch in styles as although they're still possession-hungry, their pre-season transfer activities suggest that they want to do it further up the field, which will involve more pressing. Their defence is loaded but it's unclear how Kisnorbo intends to use it. For example, it looks like they've got 3 LBs and 1 RB right now so Talbot may be asked to play on the right instead, and the CB situation is unclear too. Biggest weakness of this team is still Glover; far too nervous for a GK. Midfield looks lethal going forward but only O'Neill knows how to sit so could struggle if without the ball. Still arguably Australia's best team though, and will unquestionably be involved in the title race.