City continue Glory raid with Nabbout signing
In a move set to restoke the Melbourne Derby fire, Melbourne City have snapped up two-time Victory player Andrew Nabbout following his failed transfer to Perth Glory.
The 27-year-old has done a few rounds in the A-League and is one of its premier forwards when on-song, having racked up 31 goals and 12 assists in his 108 appearances, with a goal contribution coming every 165 minutes.
The 5’9” winger plays primarily on the right-hand side, but is also familiar playing as a striker or on the left, where he’s proficient at cutting inside to score goals from around the edge of the box. Renowned for his physical presence on the ball, former Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk also marveled at Nabbout’s work rate and discipline, leading to the forward’s run of 9 national team appearances leading into the 2018 World Cup, where he played 139 minutes before a shoulder injury ruled him out of further action.
Nabbout’s best form came in the 2017/18 season with the Newcastle Jets that lead to his Socceroos call-up and eventual transfer to Urawa Red Diamonds in Japan. In the Jets’ surprise run to the Grand Final, Nabbout made 22 appearances for 10 goals and 6 assists.
In his last campaign with Victory, Nabbout appeared 22 times for 8 goals and 3 assists in what was a massively underperforming outfit.
Though quite injury-prone, Nabbout could prove a valuable asset throughout the upcoming season, especially given the value of quality Australians at a time when foreigners are less likely to be interested in a move Down Under. The winger also has Asian Champions League experience, with 1 goal and 2 assists in his 13 games at the tournament.
Nabbout will surely be the undisputed starter on the right-wing given Ramy Najjarine and Stefan Colakovski are the only other options, so it will be interesting to see whether the club is able to retain the services of Craig Noone on the left. If this could be achieved then the club should be commended for their work over the off-season in ensuring that the squad doesn’t take a backward step during COVID so that the boys will be ready to have another tilt at the title – and a successful debut ACL campaign – next season.