The new arrivals: Scouting this season’s best signings – and who you should pick in fantasy

'I can score a lot of goals in this league' | Hear from star Wanderers signing Marcus Antonsson

With a new season comes a number of eye-catching signings who will look to make their mark in the 2023-24 Isuzu UTE A-League campaign.

We’re yet to see the likes of Daniel Penha make his A-Leagues return in the green and black of Western. Vàlere Germain has teased his talent in Macarthur FC’s dominant AFC Cup form – as has Tolgay Arslan for Melbourne City in the Australia Cup and AFC Champions League. Florin Berenguer has relished a start to life in Brisbane, helping Roar to the Australia Cup final.

These are just some of the big-name signings across the Isuzu UTE A-League looking to make their mark in new colours this season.

Before the season kicks off on Friday, October 20, take a look through the biggest off-season arrivals – and which of the league’s newcomers can make their mark in your Official A-Leagues Fantasy team.

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Western United

New recruit Daniel Penha (MID – $474k) is an exciting fantasy prospect after arriving at Western on loan from Atletico Mineiro after another loan spell at Korean club Daegu FC. Penha was a revelation in his first season in Australia at Newcastle Jets in 2021-22, scoring four goals and supplying 14 assists. 

Other new signings to consider: Nikita Rukavytsya (FWD – $246k), Angus Thurgate (MID – $228k)

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Western Sydney Wanderers

New Wanderers striker Marcus Antonsson (FWD – $348k) was brought in to compliment the attacking assets of Brandon Borrello – and adding fellow new signing Lachlan Brook (FWD – $203k) to the mix, Wanderers boss Marko Rudan is putting together a dangerous attack ahead of the new season.

Antonsson arrived in Western Sydney from Saudi club Al Adalah where he scored six goals in 16 games; the 32-year-old has played in both the UEFA Champions League and Europa League and brings significant experience to the Wanderers attack.

Other new signings to consider: Jack Clisby (DEF – $375k) 

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Wellington Phoenix

Lukas Kelly-Heald (DEF – $150k) is a highly-rated youngster who, in the off-season, signed the longest contract in the club’s history to jump from the reserve team up to the A-League Men for the very first time. 

Kelly-Heald joined the club in 2021 but is a new signing in the senior system – and at just $150k looms as a valuable asset to select as the fifth defender in your fantasy squad. The 18-year-old started both of Wellington’s Australia Cup games in the off-season under new boss Giancarlo Italiano.

Other new signings to consider: Jack Duncan (GKP – $335k), Mohamed Al-Taay (MID -$165k)

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Sydney FC

New recruit Fabio Gomes (FWD – $185k) bagged a match-winning brace for Sydney FC in Australia Cup final victory over Brisbane Roar – and the experienced Brazilian looks set to play a key role in the Sky Blues’ attack heading into the 2023-24 A-League Men season. Priced at $185k, Fabio’s value could skyrocket with some early goals. 

Other new signings to consider: Jordan Courtney-Perkins (DEF – $258k)

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Perth Glory

In former Wellington vice-captain Oliver Sail (GKP – $290k), Perth Glory have recruited one of the top-performing fantasy goalkeepers from last season. Sail racked up 159 points at the ‘Nix in 2022-23 – 102 of which came from saves, the equal-most of any keeper in the league along with Jamie Young. 

Keep tabs on Perth’s early team selection as Stajcic tosses up between Sail and young keeper Cameron Cook for the starting role.

Other new signings to consider: Oliver Bozanic (MID – $267k), Bruce Kamau (FWD – $155k)

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Newcastle Jets

French midfielder Jason Berthomier (MID – $243k) has arrived in Newcastle from Valenciennes in Ligue 2, adding his class and experience to the Jets squad. The 33-year-old has made more than 200 domestic appearances in France at an array of clubs, earning promotion to Ligue 1 with Clermont Foot in 2021.

Meantime the return of Lucas Mauragis (DEF – $264k) from a one-season loan to Wellington brings excitement to the Hunter. Mauragis is a marauding full-back who registered a pair of assists in Wellington last season; he’s an exciting Aussie talent who will be looking to use this season as a springboard toward Olyroos selection should Australia secure a spot at the 2024 Paris Olympics, but will that determination translate to a lift in his level and more fantasy points?

Other new signings to consider: Jacob Dowse (FWD – $231k)

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Melbourne Victory

A player who disappointed fantasy managers last season is Daniel Arzani ($254k) – but there is no doubting his natural talent and ability to make critics eat humble pie in a fresh start at Melbourne Victory.

Arzani was a popular pick at the start of last season at Macarthur, but his price dropped by $163k from the start of the season to the end as he notched just one goal and five assists. But a $254K starting price tag is a tempting one for a player who, at age 24, is still very much capable of putting together a big debut season at his new club.

Other new signings to consider: Zinedine Machach (MID – $239k), Franco Lino (DEF – $150k)

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CONFIRMED: 2023-24 A-League Finals structure & dates

Melbourne City

One of the new recruits to keep track of early doors is Tolgay Arslan (MID – $348k), Melbourne City’s star recruit who arrived in Australia directly from a three-season stint in the Italian top flight with Udinese. 

Arslan is a creative midfielder who will push forward to create chances and look to add goals of his own to the scoreboard. With Jamie Maclaren to feed up top, the City machine is expected to keep ticking along nicely in the new campaign and if the Premiers get up and running, expect Arslan to be involved in plenty of their best creative endeavours. 

Other new signings to consider: Aziz Behich (DEF – $348k), Jamie Young (GKP – $273k)

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Macarthur FC

There’s not many players in the league with a footballing CV like Valère Germain (FWD – $348k), the Frenchman who just five years ago played an integral role in Monaco’s French Ligue 1 title in a team boasting the world-class talent of Kylian Mbappe, Radamel Falcao, Bernardo Silva and Fabinho.

Germain has dominated for Macarthur in two AFC Cup fixtures in the off-season, and looks set to lead the line for Mile Sterjovski’s side. Germain has shared penalty-taking duties with Ulises Dávila for the Bulls in the AFC Cup, and will see his fantasy figures bolstered if he continues to enjoy a share of spot kicks in the A-League Men.

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CONFIRMED: 2023-24 A-League Finals structure & dates

Central Coast

One player that passed the eye test in the off-season is Central Coast’s new Brazilian full-back Mikael Doka (DEF – $203k). A right-sided defender who is also capable of playing on the wing, Doka has exceptional delivery skills and will take his share of free-kicks for the Mariners this season. 

With Storm Roux in the squad, it’s possible Doka could at times be used further up the field with Roux filling in behind him at right-back. A fun selection at a relatively low starting price who is well worth considering for your Round 1 squad.

Other new signings to consider: Alou Kuol (FWD – $348k), Angel Torres (FWD – $176k)

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Brisbane Roar

When fully fit, he’s one of the best creative midfielders going around the A-League Men – and after an off-season switch from Melbourne City to Brisbane Roar, Florin Berenguer ($349k) looks set to get back to his best in 2023-24. 

Injuries curtailed Berenguer’s final season at City, with the Frenchman starting just seven games (18 appearances). He featured prominently for Brisbane in the backend of the Australia Cup campaign and, alongside Jay O’Shea, will look to boss proceedings in the middle of the park for his new side.

Other new signings to consider: Thomas Waddingham (FWD – $150K), Alex Parsons ($165k)

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KEY QUESTIONS ANSWERED: What is Unite Round? How does it work?
CONFIRMED: 2023-24 A-League Finals structure & dates

Adelaide United

It was a quiet transfer window for the Reds, with Ryan Tunnicliffe (MID – $241K) the main arrival with head coach Carl Veart elevating three academy players to scholarship contracts to rejuvenate his squad.

Instead of looking to the new recruits in the Adelaide system, it’s worthwhile assessing some pre-existing squad members who will be tasked with stepping up in the absence of Craig Goodwin. In Bernardo Oliveira (FWD – $165k), Luka Jovanovic (FWD – $232k), Jonny Yull (MID – $155k) and Nestory Irankunda (FWD – $234k), Veart has a quartet of young, exciting Australian attackers who could all increase their respective outputs this season in Goodwin’s absence.

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KEY QUESTIONS ANSWERED: What is Unite Round? How does it work?
CONFIRMED: 2023-24 A-League Finals structure & dates