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Changes Aplenty for Melbourne City

by isport

Just weeks after failing to progress beyond the Elimination Finals, Melbourne City have begun to make some significant changes to their playing staff, confirming that four members of last season's squad will leave the A-League club.

Despite being tipped to mount a real challenge for the title this season, City never looked like competing with the league's best teams, eventually being outplayed by Perth Glory in the first round of the finals.

With the club's ambitious owners clearly not happy with another season of relative failure, aside from winning the FFA Cup, it looks as though it's going to be a busy few months at AAMI Park.

The four players that have been released – Steve Kuzmanovski, Corey Gameiro, Nicolas Colazo and Josh Rose – will hardly be surprised by the news that they won't be at Melbourne City next season, but it does highlight the need for the club to get busy in the transfer market. Despite boasting a roster containing some top names, including the likes of Tim Cahill, Bruce Fornaroli and Anthony Caceres, City have again failed to compete with teams boasting much more modest squads. If the club are going to be able to challenge for the title next season, it looks like another offseason of change to the playing and possibly the management staff.

The fact that the club's city rivals, Melbourne Victory, will now face Perth Glory in the Grand Final, in a match they will start priced at 11/10 with bet365 to win, has only made this season more painful for City's fans and owners. When you look at how the City Football Group, headed by Khaldoon Al Mubarak, run their various clubs, it would be a surprise if they were satisfied with how things are going in their Australian experiment. So, while their A-League rivals will be pleased that City haven't been able to instantly buy success, they will be expecting some big changes going forward.

Indeed, certain players are already starting to make way. Steve Kuzmanovski and Corey Gameiro's release comes after the duo missed the entire 2016/17 campaign with serious knee injuries. While Kuzmanovski will be confident of finding a new A-League club before next season, that might not be an easy task for Gameiro, who is coming off his third major knee surgery in four years. Marquee winger Nicolas Colazo is another set to depart Melbourne, returning to Argentinean club Boca Juniors after failing to live up to expectations since making the loan move to Melbourne last year.

Also joining those departing AAMI Park will be experienced left-back Joshua Rose, who has come to the end of his one-year contract at the club. Despite making over 20 appearances for City last season, the 35-year-old has been allowed to leave, casting doubts over the former Central Coast defender's future in the league. As well his presence on the left of the City defence, Rose brought a lot to the club in terms of his experience, something that will be harder to replace. But the gap left by Rose is just one of a number of positions in this team that the City management will be looking to strengthen before next season.