Victory boost: German striker cleared to play

Melbourne Victory have received a late boost ahead of their game against Western Sydney Wanderers, with Maxi Beister receiving clearance to play.

The German forward’s visa came through on Friday morning, meaning Beister will be added to Victory’s extended squad for Saturday night’s match although he won’t start at Etihad Stadium.

Beister looked sharp at training on Friday as he prepared for his Victory debut. 

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“He’s [Beister] been working away, very hard and getting close to being involved in the team and having to wait, like we all were,” Victory coach Kevin Muscat said after training.

“Then this morning we got an email nice and early, so he had a decent spring in his step and he’s looking forward to it.”

Beister joined Victory on loan from Bundesliga club Mainz last month and Muscat indicated the 26-year-old will be on the bench against the Wanderers, while Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Jai Ingham are the main options to start on the right wing in the absence of Marco Rojas.

Rojas, who has scored four goals and notched four assists this season, is away with New Zealand’s national team.

“[Starting Beister would] be unrealistic and irresponsible at this point in time,” Muscat said. 

“We’ve been planning all week without him as well… but he’ll certainly come into contention [for the squad].

“He’s got to a point now where he can be thrown in and add some value to the squad.”

Victory’s boss added that captain Carl Valeri, who has missed the past two matches with hamstring soreness, is ready for 90 minutes if required.

In more immigration news for Victory, Muscat attempted to hose down expectations that marquee striker Besart Berisha will become an Australian citizen in January.

Reports had indicated Berisha, who first arrived in Australia in 2011, would receive his citizenship on Australia Day but Muscat claimed the process was far from certain.

If Berisha was to become an Australian citizen he would vacate an import spot in Victory’s squad, opening the door for Muscat to add an international guest marquee for the second half of the A-League campaign.

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“There’s no guarantee when it’s going through, so at this point in time I don’t really looking into it too much because it could be January, it could be July,” Muscat said.