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Every A-League club's biggest Christmas wish

06:00 SAST 2018/12/26
A-League christmas
What does your club need most in the coming months?

Christmas may have come and gone, but January promises to be a massive month for A-League clubs as they look to secure gifts that could push them to glory.

From strikers to a lack of experience, a number of sides are short in important departments as they chase silverware this season.

Here's what every A-League club needs most...

  • Craig Goodwin Adelaide United

    Adelaide United

    They won the FFA Cup without one, but the Reds must sign another striker if they want to add A-League silverware to their cabinet this season.

    Marquee man Baba Diawara is injured again, while back-up front man George Blackwood is only just returning to fitness and arguably not equipped to lead the line.

    Adelaide have been linked to a move for former Sydney FC striker Bobo and could even pounce on former star Bruce Djite, who is currently a free agent and considering his options. 

    Strong everywhere else across the pitch, if the Reds can find a reliable goal scorer in January they can be viewed as genuine A-League contenders. 

  • Stefan Mauk Brisbane Roar

    Brisbane Roar

    Another club with a marquee stuck on the sidelines, Brisbane need someone to fill the shoes of Brett Holman.

    With a fiery front three, the Roar need someone to spark them into life in midfield and ensure the likes of Adam Taggart are taken advantage of.

    While Alex Lopez has shown glimpses of attacking intent, John Aloisi needs someone else to step up and take games by the scruff of their neck.

    Matt McKay and Thomas Kristensen are solid midfielders, but their lack of creativity is holding Brisbane back right now. 

    Stefan Mauk could be the man to fill the gap, but he must find a way to keep his head while also firing his team up. 

  • Ross McCormack Central Coast Mariners

    Central Coast Mariners

    Still winless, the Mariners need more than just one wish to get their season and club back on track.

    On the pitch, their most pressing concern is a lack of goals with Ross McCormack sidelined and Matt Simon unlikely to bang in 10 or more goals this campaign. 

    But a broader issue that continues to plague the club is a lack of investment in their current squad and don't expect cash to be splashed anytime soon.

    As such, the most realistic wish for the Mariners right now is that they end a drought of over 300 days and win an A-League game.

    Beyond that, seeing young players like Mario Shabow and Peter Kekeris given a chance to shine could add some silver-lining to what looms as another disappointing season. 

  • Bruno Fornaroli Melbourne City

    Melbourne City

    With Bruno Fornaroli set to leave the club, City simply need to find another striker in January at all costs.

    While they've scraped by surprisingly well without one over the past month, any hopes of silverware will rely on a suitable goal scorer being brought in.

    Who remains to be seen, but money shouldn't be an issue for City Football Group and City's fans will be hoping a big name is brought in. 

    With the club struggling to attract supporters, a marquee striker that puts bums on seats and the ball in the back of net could kill two birds with one stone. 

    Boasting a very strong squad otherwise, a suitable Fornaroli replacement will give Warren Joyce's side a genuine chance of silverware this season. 

  • Toivonen/ Honda

    Melbourne Victory

    Though held to a draw in the Melbourne derby, things can't be going much better for Victory right now.

    With marquees Keisuke Honda and Ola Toivonen firing, Kevin Muscat's biggest wish will be that both avoid any serious injuries.

    Honda was rested over the weekend for precautionary reasons and you can't blame the club for wrapping their Japanese star in cotton wool.

    Toivonen meanwhile arrived in the A-League under an injury cloud and has a bad history with injuries, so Victory will be hoping he can stay fit when it matters most this season. 

    Even if that wish was to fall through, Victory showed on Saturday they do have the squad depth capable of filling the holes left by their marquee men. 

  • Roy O'Donovan Newcastle Jets

    Newcastle Jets

    Back after a ten-game suspension, Roy O'Donovan's suspension was felt dearly by the Jets, and Ernie Merrick will be hoping his main striker avoids any more disciplinary issues this season.

    Rightly or wrongly, the Irishman has developed a reputation in the A-League and he'll be keen to prove critics wrong with a strong, drama-free campaign.

    Newcastle struggled to fire without O'Donovan and are currently the equal second-lowest scoring team in the competition. 

    Though Jair and Kaine Sheppard eventually stepped up in his absence, O'Donovan will be key to the Jets' hopes this season as they look to go one step further.

  • Diego Castro Perth Glory

    Perth Glory

    Top of the table and things are looking pretty glorious for Perth early on in the season.

    Tony Popovic has his side well-drilled and looking very fit - except for Diego Castro, who continues to be hampered by injuries.

    A fully fit Castro will no doubt be top of Glory's Christmas wish list with the Spaniard's absence felt against Sydney FC last time out.

    Without his creative spark in midfield, Perth couldn't capitalise on their possession until late in the game when it was just too late to snag a point. 

    With Chris Ikonomidis set to miss over a month at the Asian Cup, Castro's fitness will take on even more importance as Glory look to maintain their strong start. 

  • Steve Corica Sydney FC

    Sydney FC

    Unlike seasons gone by, this Sky Blues side has been far from perfect to date.

    An injury to Trent Buhagiar has seen Steve Corica publicly admit the club needs to bring in another attacker. 

    While Adam Le Fondre has led the line admirably, he lacks support in behind with an aging Alex Brosque not as sharp as seasons gone by. 

    Another centre-back could also be handy with Jop van der Linden, who is currently injured, struggling to date and culpable when Sydney FC lost 3-1 to Wellington Phoenix.  

    Set to compete in the Asian Champions League, an Asian signing for either position would be ideal and smart business by the club. 

  • Roy Krishna Wellington Phoenix

    Wellington Phoenix

    Flying high with three straight wins, all the Nix need now is another goal scorer in the side and they could well be finals' bound this season. 

    Roy Krishna and Sarpreet Singh have proven their worth in front of goal, but they need support. 

    Nathan Burns hasn't scored in nearly 1000 days and must end his drought soon. 

    Wellington were linked to a number of marquee attackers over the off-season and a January deal for one would do wonders for the club on and off the pitch. 

  • Markus Babbel Western Sydney Wanderers

    Western Sydney Wanderers

    Midfield steel will be top of Markus Babbel's wish list at Western Sydney.

    Regularly deploying an inexperienced, albeit talented holding midfield duo of Keanu Baccus and Jordan O'Doherty, the Wanderers would benefit immensely from a veteran in the middle of the park.   

    Too much has arguably been asked of Alexander Baumjohann across the pitch to date and his attacking talent could really be unleashed with a midfielder that can dictate play deep in their own half.

    Considering Babbel's track record, it wouldn't be surprising to see a German midfielder brought in should the club free up a foreign spot - something they'll do if Patrick Ziegler is granted Australian citizenship. 

    A back-up striker would also prove handy for the Wanderers with Mark Bridge still injured and Oriol Riera in mixed form.