Melbourne City won’t win the A-League without Aaron Mooy

Eighteen-year-old Patrick Roberts has played just one league match for Manchester City, who share the same owners as Melbourne City and despite his lack of contribution to the first team just yet, he already pockets $2.7 million a year.

It’s the same salary as their back-up goalkeeper, Willy Caballero and highlights the City group’s eagerness to win at all costs. So then is it any surprise why Melbourne City would reject a record offer from Al-Nassr for over $2 million for Aaron Mooy? The 25-year-old midfielder is blossoming into a star and Newcastle Jets became his latest victim.  Two goals and an assist in City’s 4-0 win showed why he’s not only the form player of the league but one with genuine potential to get even better.

City have scored 27 goals this season, nine more than the second most attacking sides but  Mooy  is responsible for 13 of those via either assists or scoring. He’s too good to play in the A-League next season and the January transfer window presents the club’s last chance to cash in on him before clauses come into effect at the end of the season making him available for less than half the value of current offers. For the City group, how much really is a million or two? Certainly a lot less than the price of a trophy.

Imports lifting

The A-League may not have high-profile marquees this season, but it is rich in gifted foreign players. Another superb week of performances for visa-players showed just how good recruiting has become and there is now barely a dud in the competition.There was Romeo Castelen’s incredible individual performance for Wanderers, Bruno Fornaroli’s brace against the Jets, Filip Holosko’s cheeky goal for Sydney and Nebojsa Marinkovic’s double to sink the Mariners. Even Roy O’Donovan broke his drought. The standard is rising rapidly and the days of Michael Mifsud, Seyi Adeleke and Alejandro Salazar appear to be gone.

Perth are playing a dangerous game

Glory welcomed back one of their favourite players of last season in Andy Keogh but now face a registration tightrope. Keogh is contract for the next three seasons but as of yet, unable to play as the club has already filled their allocation of five visa players. They were denied guest player status by the FFA for Keogh despite internal beliefs they were going to get the green light. They’re trying to push other players out of the door, most notably Sidnei Sciola, to make way for the Irish international but as of yet have found no luck. Keogh is still paid regardless, but the situation is one fraught with internal squad tension.

Sky Blues seeing Red.

How many times can luck go against you before it becomes a trend and emblematic of a bigger issue? That’s the question Sydney FC are hoping to avoid. They’ve had issues with scheduling and officiating and conceded a late penalty against Adelaide. It was very contentious, but had it happened to Adelaide there wouldn’t have been many complaints from Graham Arnold. The Sky Blues fell into a rut this time last season and clawed their way back to narrowly miss out on the premiership. They’re far from in trouble and can still finish strongly, but they need to find less excuses and more ways over obstacles.

Fans are back and so is the rivalry 

There were concerns peace talks which brought fans together last week may have eroded the rivalry from the stands but that is not the case. The Wanderers’ RBB and Melbourne Victory’s North Terrace put aside differences to help end the feud with the FFA, but that friendship ended very quickly on Saturday night. Victory fans gave one finger salutes from the south-eastern corner of Pirtek Stadium before 17,000 Wanderers returned favour: “F*** The Victory, Melbourne boys are still number two.” There were no flares, no fights, no incidents – just pure passion from the stands.

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