Debate: Fornaroli the finest Hyundai A-League import?

That’s the question fans and media are debating as we head into a thrilling final straight of the 2015/16 Hyundai A-League season.

Fornaroli’s Melbourne City teammate Alex Wilkinson has no doubts that the Uruguayan is a serious contender for that tag.

To recap, the City forward has a stunning 20 goals in 23 games this season to lead the Golden Boot standings with four rounds left.

Some of his efforts – such as the infamous “Rabona” goal in the Melbourne derby when he started and finished a sweeping move – are worthy contenders for greatest ever goals in the league.

City striker Bruno Fornaroli celebrates one of his two goals in the Melbourne Derby.

There is a feeling that the former Serie A player from Salto in north-eastern Uruguay could reach 25 goals for the home and away season.

If so, it’d smash the record books for goal scoring in the A-League as City eye a finals run.

And what is even more exciting for fans in Australia is Fornaroli’s age: he’s just 28.

The pint-sized striker has at least another four years left at his peak.

So how does he compare to, say, Besart Berisha or Thomas Broich?

“He’s definitely up there,” Wilkinson, who joined City in early February, said of Fornaroli.

“Although he’s only been here a year, from what we’ve seen so far and what I’ve seen over the past month, I think he’s definitely worthy in being talked about in that conversation.”

Bruno Fornaroli has scored 20 goals in 22 goals for Melbourne City this season.

Nicknamed ‘El Tuna’ – translated as ‘The Prickly Pear’ due to his spiky hair –  began his career at Uruguayan club Nacional, catching the eye in the club’s youth teams alongside a certain Barcelona superstar Luis Suarez.

Fornaroli also represented Uruguay at U-17 level in 2003.

The striker’s breakout season came during his first senior campaign with Nacional in 2008, scoring 17 in 37 appearances in the Uruguayan Primera Division and Copa Libertadores.

“You’ve got guys like Berisha and Broich who’ve backed it up season after season. There’s no doubt in my mind that if he [Fornaroli] hangs around hopefully as long as possible, that he’s going to be successful year after year,” added Wilkinson.

“He’s that type of player. He’s so lethal around the box.

“But not just the box – his lead-up play. He’s so strong at holding the ball up. He can rob players  and take players on when he’s running at them.

“A lot of the goals he’s scored in recent weeks, he’s started on the halfway line. Beating a few players, playing a pass then getting into the box to finish it off.

“He’s sort of the complete striker. It’s great playing with him not against him.”

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Wilkinson is a good judge having marked Berisha and Broich during his seven seasons in the A-League.

That was before he transferred to the K-League and won titles with Jeonbuk and played at a World Cup and Asian Cup with the Socceroos.

As for Jamie Maclaren, the man chasing Fornaroli, he’ll walk out to face Wilkinson this Friday night as the two goal machines lock horns when City host Roar at AAMI Park.

“That’ll definitely be a challenge. He seems to be banging them in every week,” Wilkinson said of Maclaren.

Fornaroli v Maclaren: Golden boot showdown

“He’s the highest scoring Australian in the league and that’s no easy feat. And he’s still only 22.”