Football 2 years ago

Sydney won't settle for unfit guest player

  • Sydney won't settle for unfit guest player

Last week Graham Arnold's phones were running hot. This week, apparently, they're not.

As other A-League clubs swing into mid-season transfer activity, Sydney FC have been noticeably quiet.

Arnold has already signalled the Sky Blues will explore signing a guest player - potentially a striker - before their gruelling Aian Champions League (ACL) schedule kicks off in February.

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But the coach claimed there's not been much action on the ground despite his declaration seven days ago that "the phones have been working hot".

"They've stopped this week," he said.

"No one's calling me and asking. I'm not picking up the phone to anyone."

Arnold said Sydney were "open to listening" to offers, especially given skipper and top goalscorer Alex Brosque will be sidelined for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury.

He had been openly keen to sign Central Coast playmaker Anthony Caceres, who is in serious talks about a move to English Premier League heavyweights Manchester City, while other big names, including former German international striker Kevin Kuranyi, have also been circulating.

But they wouldn't take on a high-profile player for the sake of it if he wasn't right for the team or ready to play immediately.

"I'm not someone to waste money on guest players or marquee players if they're not fit," Arnold said.

"If someone fits a mould and is fit and ready to go, then we might listen.

"But if we've got to bring someone out who's not playing at a club somewhere or hasn't played for quite a long time and it's going to take him six weeks to get fit, it's a waste of time."

Going the other way, Arnold said he was yet to hear of anymore interest in prodigious young left-back Alex Gersbach, who caught the eyes of overseas clubs following his strong performance against Chelsea and Tottenham earlier this year.

On Arnold's advice, the 18-year-old rejected an off-season move to Europe in favour of continuing his development at Sydney.

He thought Gersbach, a regular starter who has left for the Olyroos' Olympic qualifiers, needed at least another season to ripen in Australia.

"The kid's played 22 or 23 A-League games, and it's a meat market overseas," Arnold said.

"If you're not performing you just don't play.

"You don't get the type of patience and education you get here in Australia.

"If you look at the pathway of Mark Viduka and Brett Emerton, they spent years in the old NSL.

"They went to the Olympics, so therefore they were 21 before they went overseas - young Alex is only 18.

"Let's hope the Olympic team qualifies ... then hopefully he waits until after the Olympics before he goes anywhere."

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