Daniel Penha returns to the A-Leagues: Details of his Western United move

Daniel Penha is back in Australia, although this time the Brazilian star will be playing for Western United after the club fended off interest from “several” Isuzu UTE a-League teams.

Western had “maintained contact” with Penha since he left Australia at the end of 2021-22 and the former Newcastle Jets attacking midfielder joins on a one-year loan deal from Brazilian giants Atletico Mineiro after departing South Korea’s Daegu FC.

INS AND OUTS: Isuzu UTE A-League 2023-24 Transfer Centre

Penha made 11 appearances for the K League 1 side and scored once, but tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in September last year which ruled him out for the remainder of the campaign.

The 24-year-old, however, is back on Australian shores, where he lit up the competition with the Jets in 2021-22 after scoring four goals while tallying a season-high 11 assists before representing the A-Leagues All Stars against LaLiga powerhouse Barcelona.

“I’ve always followed Western United games, it was beautiful to see how much the team played together and made it difficult for the opponents,” Penha said.

“Now I’m happy to team up with everyone to have a great season. It’s a young club, but it reached the top by conquering the A-league, that was one of the attractions for me to join
the team.

“I’m ready to join the team and be able to bring joy to the fans again, winning many victories and titles and taking the club to the top again, to put more and more fans inside the stadiums.”

Penha took the A-Leagues by storm when the Jets lured him Down Under for the 2021-22 season.

The Brazilian pass master, who has previously made appearances for Atletico Mineiro, was box office entertainment in the Hunter Region, where he scored four league goals – including a brace in a 6-1 rout of Perth Glory.

No other player in the competition supplied more assists than Penha.

“Daniel’s ability and flair is no secret to anyone in football and I’m delighted to welcome him
to the squad,” said Western head coach John Aloisi.

“His discernible passion for the game and ruthless desire to win is just so innate to his

“He’s exactly the kind of footballer we want representing our club.”

Penha is Western’s fifth new signing in what is shaping up as a busy off-season in Victoria after John Aloisi’s side failed to defend their title in 2022-23.

He joins James Donachie, Angus Thurgate (Newcastle Jets)Tom Heward-Belle (Sydney FC) and Matt Sutton (Melbourne City) at the club after Leo Lacroix, Jamie Young, Neil Kilkenny, Nikolai Topor-Stanley (retired), Alessandro Diamanti (retired), Tongo Doumbia, James Troisi, Ryan Scott (Newcastle Jets), Adisu Bayew, Ben Collins (Melbourne Knights), Ajak Deu, and Dylan Pierias (Western Sydney Wanderers) all departed.

“We have maintained contact with Daniel and monitored his progress since departing the
A-League in 2021-22,” said general manager Mal Impiombato.

“We are well aware of Penha’s immense potential and actively pursued his signature to
reinforce the squad ahead of our 23-24 campaign. Importantly for our club, we know we are bringing in a fantastic character and individual as well as talented footballer, so we are
delighted to have him on-board.

“He’s the kind of player that gets people through the gates – he gets football fans excited and brings new fans to the sport with his dynamic attacking flair.

“He lit up the A-League during his first season in 2021-22 and we anticipate he will provide
that added quality in our front third to complement our existing structure.

“We look forward to him helping strengthen our on-field performance and also building our
brand in the West.”