Arnold wants fulltime A League marquees

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold says he isn’t interested in following the path Melbourne City have taken with Spanish superstar David Villa by signing a big name player for a guest stint only.


Arnold, who kicked off pre-season training with his new team on Monday, is after a big name in world football – but he wants that player to be there for the long haul.

Spain’s alltime leading goalscorer, Villa has signed on with Melbourne for a 10-match stint before joining New York City – and that could commence in round one against Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium in October.

While an enormous publicity coup and on-field boost for rebranded City, Villa’s short-term stint means the team must quickly adapt to being with and then without him.

Arnold made it clear he has reservations about taking a similar approach.

He understands the importance of Sydney FC boasting a ticket-selling attraction given the star power fans have been treated to in the past.

But he will be cautious about who he approaches to be Alessandro Del Piero’s marquee replacement at Moore Park.

“I prefer someone that’s there for the season,” Arnold told AAP.

“We’ve got two marquee (spots to fill).

“The guest appearance side of things – my question would be whether they fit into the group.

“For me what’s important with the marquee players is that they’re good people who want to fit into the team environment and be part of that group of players and not receive any special treatment.

“We’re making sure we’re doing a real good due diligence on those type of players that we’re getting recommended every day.”

Arnold says he’s after attacking players as his marquees, but estimated Sydney FC are only “30 per cent” down the line in the negotiation process.

However, Arnold reiterated the club’s interest in regaining favourite son Alex Brosque.

“If we could bring someone back like him it would be fantastic because he’s a great leader and he’s very good in the group,” he said.

“I know the supporters would welcome him back with open arms.”