Argentine winger's big impact in Hyundai A-League

Fernando Brandan may have flown under the radar compared to other Melbourne City recruits but the Argentine is in the spotlight now, and the winger's stats back him up.

Brandan has scored in City's past three matches in all competitions, including the clinching goal in Tuesday night's 2-0 Westfield FFA Cup semi-final win over Melbourne Victory.

That goal - a classic poacher's finish to divert Nick Fitzgerald's shot past Victory goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas - was Brandan's fourth in six games in all competitions since joining City from Temperley in Argentina's Primera Division.

Understandably, the pre-season focus for City was on their three marquees - reigning Golden Boot winner Bruno Fornaroli, Caltex Socceroos forward Tim Cahill and Boca Juniors loanee Nicolas Colazo.

Fernando Brandan

But it hasn't taken long for Brandan to make his mark.

"Fernando is a player that works for the team and on top of that has his individual qualities, but I think the most important thing is that within the way we want to play, he never gives up," City coach John van 't Schip said on Thursday. 

"He fights, he's disciplined and when he has the ball he's dangerous. 

"He likes to link up, he has an individual action, he's street smart, so we're very happy with him."

When Brandan was unveiled by City in July, he appeared to be a replacement for outgoing Socceroos playmaker Aaron Mooy.

Instead, the Salta-born midfielder has lined up on the left wing, which allows him to cut in on his preferred right boot and look to link with centre-forward Fornaroli or shoot himself.

BRANDON'S STATS

  • In the opening three rounds, he leads City for goals (2) and shots on target (5) alongside Fornaroli.
  • He has the best shooting accuracy (83.3%) of any City player that has attempted more than one shot. 
  • He is second at the club for successful dribbles, fouls won and conversion rate.

Brandan's next chance to impress the A-League community will come on Friday night when City host reigning champions Adelaide United.

City will be without Colazo, who had surgery on a perforated eardrum on Wednesday, while Bruce Kamau has recovered from a concussion sustained in last week's 3-2 loss to Perth Glory.

Full-back Ivan Franjic, who came off the bench late against Victory mid-week, is still a few weeks away from starting for City after a virus caused inflammation around his heart during pre-season.