Who are the A-League’s VISA and Marquee players? – Part 2

Yesterday we brought you the first part of our ice-breaking session with the new A-League signings, both marquee and VISA players. Today we start with Melbourne City and cover everyone up to the Wellington Phoenix.

Marcin Budzinski

Who is he? Not as big of a name as previous signings such as David Villa, Robi Koren, Thomas Sorensen, Tim Cahill or the like which really makes the marquee position quite redundant. Marcin Budzinski spent five years with Polish club Marcin Budziński. The 27-year-old midfielder represented Poland at youth level but is yet to make a senior cap

Why you should care: He’s the first Polish player the A-League has ever seen, but it’s hard to care when a big club like Melbourne City with their resources and finances signs an unknown player as a marquee. He will have a lot of pressure to perform this year.

Matias Sanchez

Who is he? Matias Sanchez is one of the most low key signings of the off-season. He’s a 30-year-old Argentinian centre midfielder signed to Melbourne Victory.

Why you should care: Was a part of Argentina’s Under/20 World Cup squad in 2007 which featured the likes of Sergio Aguero, Mauro Zarate, and Angel Di Maria

Leroy George

Who is he? Leroy George is a 30-year-old winger who has represented the Netherlands at youth level but was actually born in Surniname.

Why you should care: He’s had spells in Netherlands, and Azerbaijan (where he found success with Qarabag). Not really a goal scorer but that could change in the A-League, he could be a good replacement for Marco Rojas.

Ronald Vargas

Who is he? Ronald Vargas is the first Venezuelan to play in the A-League and the 30-year-old has an impressive resume, signing from Greek side AEK Athens.

Why you should care: Newcastle haven’t had the best of luck when it comes to South American signings but maybe Vargas the Venezuelan can break that mode. Will either set the league alight or stink the place up.

Xavi Torres

Who is he? Xavi Torres is a 30-year-old midfielder, signed to Perth, who has spent the past 12 years in the La Liga including a short spell at Barcelona.

Why you should care: Well, he plays in a different position but if he’s anything like fellow Spaniard Diego Castro. Oh boy this could be fun. Having former Wanderer Andreu alongside him should help him settle in Australia.

Adrian Mierzejewski

Who is he? Adrian Mierzejewski has one of the hardest names to spell and pronounce in A-League history. He’s a 30-year-old midfielder signed to Sydney FC and if he’s anything like Graham Arnold’s usual overseas signings he should do well. Pre-season suggests he will as well.

Why you should care: Capped 40 times by his country he will be looking to produce form good enough to earn him a spot at the 2018 World Cup if Poland are to qualify.

Alvaro Cejudo

Who is he? Alvaro Cejudo is a 33-year-old Spanish winger with La Liga experience. Cejudo has played for Las Palmas, Osasuna, and Betis.

Why you should care: He has a nice pedigree, Western Sydney fans have seen players like him before in Youssouf Hersi and Romeo Castelen. 

Raul Llorente

Who is he? Former youth international with Spain, the 31-year-old hasn’t spent more than two seasons at a club before so that tells you everything you need to know about the former Atletico Madrid youth player.

Why you should care: Jack Clisby appeared to have the left back spot after last season so expect Popovic to rotate between the two. Llorente’s going to have to work hard to make that spot his own. 

Oriol Riera

Who is he? He’s a 31-year-old Spanish striker with experience playing in Spain and England. He has been capped twice by Catalonia.

Why you should care: He’s been scoring goals for fun in pre-season. Could be the player to make Wanderers fans forget Dino Kresinger and Federico Piovaccari if they haven’t already forgotten about them.

Goran Paracki

Who is he? Darije Kalezic signed the 30-year-old Croatian midfielder from Istra 1961. Has a bit of experience from his days in Europe and was capped at youth level.

Why you should care: He’s in Wellington so there’s no pressure on him to perform, this should give him freedom to play to his potential.

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