Top five July Hyundai A-League signings

With preparation for the new 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season well and truly under way, plenty of clubs have already made big steps in strengthening their rosters.

The transfer window arrivals and departures truly got going in July, with several high-quality foreigners touching down in Australia for the first time.

Meanwhile, a piece Hyundai A-League history was made when Daniel De Silva moved from Central Coast Mariners to Sydney FC.

Here are five of the best signings across the league from July.

PATRICK ZIEGLER - WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS

Following the twin acquisitions of head coach Markus Babbel and new defender Patrick Ziegler, there's something of a German revolution happening at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Ziegler played for FC Kaiserslautern last season in the German second division, in a career which has also seen him play for clubs such as SpVgg Unterhaching and Paderborn 7 in Germany.

Now 28 years old, the defender will play abroad for the first time in his career when he lines up for the Wanderers and could debut as early as August 7 when they take on Hellenic Athletic in the FFA Cup.

It’s a signing which will add invaluable experience to the Western Sydney back-line. With the manager himself a former German international defender, expect this Wanderers side to be much more solid at the back than they were last season.

STEVEN TAYLOR - WELLINGTON PHOENIX

Mark Rudan adopted a patient approach to recruitment as new boss of Wellington Phoenix. But at the end of the month, Wellington have acquired a number of a high quality arrivals that should signal a statement of intent to the rest of the league.

None speak louder than the capture of Stephen Taylor, however. The 32-year-old played most recently for Peterborough United in England’s third tier, but you’re more likely to know him as the towering Newcastle United defender who played 194 times for the English Premier League club.

Taylor will bring an untold amount of experience and leadership to a Wellington back-line which was the worst in the league last season and conceded 55 goals.

He’s the type of player which some coaches may look to build teams around, and it appears that Rudan has certainly done this across the ditch. Taylor is a proven winner having claimed the UEFA Intertoto Cup and the EFL Championship trophy while with Newcastle.

GEORG NIEDERMEIER - MELBOURNE VICTORY

Melbourne Victory have lost a number of their key defenders in the aftermath of the club's 2017/18 Championship win with the likes of James Donachie and Rhys Williams both seeking pastures new.

Georg Niedermeier is Kevin Muscat’s first international signing of the winter and flies in from German club SC Freiburg in order to fill the defensive holes which have been left by those departures.

The 32-year-old will occupy a space in the heart of the Victory defence and will be just about the first name on the team sheet every week for a side which boasted the equal-third best defence in the competition last season.

While Niedermeier struggled for game time at his previous club Freiburg, it’s worth looking at where he’s come from. A career which started at Bayern Munich and took huge leaps forward at Stuttgart is not one to be dismissed – he has pedigree.

DANIEL DE SILVA - SYDNEY FC

Sydney FC are in a transitional period right now, with coach Graham Arnold and key attacking men Bobo and Adrian Mierzejewski departing after consecutive Premierships.

Daniel De Silva is the first ever Hyundai A-League intra-club loanee, joining from Central Coast Mariners just up at the road, and will come to the club with a point to prove.

The 23-year-old has been tipped for huge things since bursting onto the Hyundai A-League scene as a 15-year-old for Perth Glory but hasn’t yet hit the heights many thought he might.

Now with the reigning Premiers, De Silva will have the opportunity to play in a fairly settled squad which scored the most goals of any in the league last season. Could this be his breakout year?

JUANDE - PERTH GLORY

Perth Glory have had several high quality Spanish imports on their books in recent numbers, with Diego Castro the highlight.

Juande could prove to be another Spanish superstar out west, albeit from a little further back in the field, rather than at the pointy end of it.

At 31 years old, the former Spain under-21 international has played in some of the big leagues including the top two tiers of Spanish football, Italy’s Serie B and Belgium’s Pro League.

Juande joins from second-tier Italian club Spezia, where he made 62 appearances in for the club in the last four seasons. Glory have recruited well so far this off-season, and look a force to be reckoned with.