Young and local talent is the way to describe Adelaide United this season, with the majority of their players either coming from South Australia or coming through the Adelaide United youth team.
Adelaide United hit the ground running at the start of the 2019-20 campaign but dropped off in the final weeks before the league was suspended.
Currently sitting outside the top six on goal difference, here is a review on Adelaide’s season so far.
Season highlight: Riley McGree
Having liked what they saw during his two loan spells in the A-League with Newcastle and Melbourne City, Adelaide invested big during the offseason, paying €950,000 (A$1.7 million) to transfer him across from Belgian Premier League side Club Brugge. McGree has been worth the investment. In his 18 appearances this season he has scored ten and assisted five from midfield.
He has been involved in 44 per cent of his club’s scoring this season. He should take out the club’s player of the year and may have earnt himself a Socceroos call-up in the future.
Season lowlight: the last four games before season suspension
In Round 20 Adelaide lost 5-2 to Western Sydney Wanderers, sparking a poor run of form with poor losses against Melbourne Victory (2-1), Western United (5-1) and Newcastle Jets (3-0). They conceded 14 goals in four games, with an average losing margin of 3.5 goals per game. The COVID-19 outbreak, which resulted in suspending the league, stopped the losing run.
End of season bonus: Ben Halloran
It’s unlikely that anyone in the A-League is getting a pay raise at this moment, but in a perfect world, if there is an Adelaide player who has earnt a bonus, it is Halloran. In his second season at the club he was an influential attacking player on the left wing. He scored seven and assisted three, and in his 16 games Halloran has been a solid contributor.
Chopping block: Yongbin Chen
He joined in October from third-tier Chinese outfit Qingdao Red Lion, and though he has spent just a season at the club, he should be moved on at the end of the season. The project has been a failure, with Chen failing to make a senior appearance and barely featuring in the Y-League side. As he was coming on a free transfer, at least Adelaide can send his bags packing without too much of a loss.
Season score: 5/10
Adelaide have been a solid side, playing good attacking football for most of the season, but their underwhelming performances in the past month have seen the club take a step back, so a five out of ten will suffice.