Analysis: Is Fornaroli A-League's best foreign import?

Melbourne City striker Bruno Fornaroli is fast making a case for being the A-League's leading foreign player and could eventually be the best import of all time.

Fornaroli struck his 12th goal of the season in City's pulsating 3-2 win over Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night.

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The Uruguayan has taken just 14 games to reach that tally in his first season in the A-League.

If he can be convinced to stay in Australia beyond his current two-year contract, Fornaroli has the talent to challenge the likes of Besart Berisha and Thomas Broich for the A-League's best-ever import crown.

While Harry Novillo earned the headlines at AAMI Park with an 85th-minute winner - one of two goals for the Frenchman - Fornaroli's consistency deserves special praise.


Fornaroli and Novillo

Of course, Broich and Berisha have the runs on the board over multiple seasons but Fornaroli's goal-scoring rate of 0.86 goals per game is impossible to ignore.

If Fornaroli maintains that pace, he would finish 2015-16 with 23 goals before finals - four better than the previous best regular-season tally held by Shane Smeltz (2009-10) and Berisha (2011-12).

Scoring at almost a goal per game over multiple seasons is almost unheard of but even accounting for a slight drop in output; Fornaroli could quickly push up the A-League's all-time scoring chart if he sticks around.

The former Danubio, Panathinaikos and Sampdoria forward's scoring rate is significantly better than the A-League's current top five all-time marksmen. Archie Thompson leads the competition with 90 goals at 0.42 per game, followed by Smeltz (87 at 0.52), Berisha (73 at 0.62), Mark Bridge (54 at 0.26) and Alex Brosque (52 at 0.32).


Fornaroli's goal against the Wanderers at AAMI Park was a sublime piece of centre-forward play in the 24th minute, with the 28-year-old collecting possession in the left channel on the counter-attack.


Released one-on-one against Western Sydney's stand-in right-back Jacob Pepper, Fornaroli shimmied inside his opponent before punching a side-footed shot into the far corner of the net.



Melbourne City players celebrate one of their 37 goals scored this season up to Round 15.


Fornaroli arrived in Australia with hardly a glowing reputation as a poacher - he notched three goals in 11 appearances for Uruguayan club Danubio in 2014-15 - but he produced a full bag of tricks on Saturday.


His trademark hold-up play was a constant, with a first-time pass inside to Novillo almost setting up his strike partner for a second goal in the 19th minute.


Fornaroli forced visiting goalkeeper Andrew Redmayne to tip the ball over with a strong header in the 10th minute, while the young Australian gloveman produced a fine diving save on the half-hour mark to deny another blistering drive.


The Salto-born striker also attempted a bicycle kick seven minutes later in a brilliant first half, and although Fornaroli was much quieter in the second period, it is clear City coach John van 't Schip has a diamond to lead his attack.


Potentially, the best import the A-League has seen.