How will Melbourne Victory replace Mark Milligan?

Mark Milligan's departure has left a Caltex Socceroo-sized hole in Melbourne Victory's midfield that Kevin Muscat will be eager to address.

Carl Valeri wears the armband and has been an ever-present, but who will line up alongside him for the remainder of the season?

We assess the options as transfer deadline day draws near.


Muscat already has two ready and willing midfielders to call on from within his squad.

Matias Sanchez, an off-season recruit from Argentine club Temperley, may get a proper chance to impress after starting half of his 14 appearances to date.

But first crack is likely to be awarded to recent arrival Terry Antonis, who has started twice since joining at the beginning of January and won on both occasions.

Victory need to find another gear if they're to challenge Sydney FC at the pointy end of the season and the former Sky Blues star has the class, poise and noise for goal to make an impression in big games.

Terry Antonis
Terry Antonis will expect to get the nod.


Milligan's move off the books and the injection of a transfer fee gives the club room to manoeuvre in the market.

And with only four of his five foreign spots filled, Muscat has the opportunity to look overseas before the transfer window closes on Wednesday night.

The Victory boss has been hesitant to upset the balance by making mid-season signings in previous campaigns, with loanee Maximilian Beister a rare big-name addition in 2016.

Should he try his luck again, the obvious move is to quickly pursue an Asian player to seize advantage of the 3+1 rule for the upcoming AFC Champions League campaign.

Besart Berisha, Kosta Barbarouses and Leroy George are tipped to beat Sanchez to the three international spots for the continental competition.

Maximilian Beister
Victory gambled on Maximilian Beister in 2016.


Muscat likes Hyundai A-League experience in his engine room and nobody has more than Leigh Broxham.

The three-time championship winner is a trusted on-field leader and joined Valeri in midfield for last year's Grand Final.

But with no natural alternative at left-back, there is a clear argument against the versatile 30-year-old making the transition again.

Leigh Broxham
Leigh Broxham returned to midfield for last season's Final Series.