Tokenism has long been an issue when it comes to the signing of Asian players, especially in Europe where, perhaps not as much now, their signings were often viewed in a cynical light; they’re just there to sell a few shirts.
He was a player who was thrilling to watch when on form.
A fleet-footed winger with mercurial skills, the red-clad menace terrorised opposing defences.
Yet, for all that, Craig Goodwin had a frustrating tendency to blow hot and cold.
After near heroic peroformances in the FFA Cup, he then became indifferent as the A-League campaign wore on.
He often made little impact in games and gave the ball away cheaply, which is surprising given his European pedigree.
That’s why, despite his obvious talent, the imminent sale of Goodwin to Saudi Club Al-Wehda represents good business for the club.
Furthermore, Goodwin’s departure frees up space for others to shine. There are able replacements in the squad, with players like Ryan Kitto, Ben Halloran and Nikola Mileusnic all able to play Goodwin’s vacant position.
Kitto and Mileusnic, in particular, would benefit from more game time, given that they were often in and out of the side under Marco Kurz last season.
This is not to mention the cadre of youth that could take advantage of the gap with a breakthrough to the senior squad.
The likes of Carlo Armiento and Pacifique Niyongabire are promising, but potential unfulfilled is potential wasted.
Goodwin’s departure represents a chance for them to make a mark on the senior squad. Armiento, in particular, might be in for a breakout campaign under new gaffer Gertjan Verbeek this season, with his aptitude for A-League football unquestionable after that memorable assist on his debut in the season just passed.
All in all, Goodwin’s sale generates a healthy influx of cash, gives deserving players more game time and gives an opportunity to the youth of Adelaide.
What’s not to like?