Top 10 key signings: your Hyundai A-League club's most important addition

Season 2018/19 is shaping as one of the most competitive yet in the Hyundai A-League thanks to shrewd recruitment from top to bottom.

Players old and new - from overseas stars to returning locals - are bound to take their teams to the next level and intensify the scramble for top six spots.

Here, we assess the most important addition made by each of the 10 clubs.

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Adelaide United - Ken Ilso

Marko Kurz's first campaign in charge was hampered by a misfiring attack that delivered fewer goals than all but three teams.

Ken Ilso could change that.

The experienced Dane is capable of operating either up front or in behind the striker, and boasts a tidy record for clubs like Midtjylland and Fortuna Dusseldorf.

Brisbane Roar - Stefan Mauk

A new centre-forward in Adam Taggart will require service in order to settle and fellow fresh arrival Stefan Mauk could be the man for Brisbane.

Brett Holman started fewer than half of last season's matches meaning Mauk should get the chance for a consistent run of games behind the striker.

Still on 22, the former Olyroo was impressive on loan for Melbourne City last term, netting five times in 23 appearances.


Central Coast Mariners - Ross McCormack

It will take a special talent to help transform the Mariners from cellar dwellers into top six contenders.

Enter Ross McCormack. Penalties, free-kicks and poacher's finishes were all on display in the former Scotland international's 14-goal haul for City last season.

His switch to Gosford is a great coup for Mike Mulvey.

Melbourne City - Mark Birighitti

City's number one shirt has not always been a straightforward selection, particularly since Thomas Sorensen's retirement.

In Mark Birighitti, they have found a proven shot-stopper in the prime of his career, with the motivation to push back into the Caltex Socceroos frame.

Mark Birighitti

Melbourne Victory - Keisuke Honda

Though Kevin Muscat looks to have recruited wisely across the pitch, it's difficult to deny Keisuke Honda top billing.

Ola Toivonen's goals will be important to replace Besart Berisha, but they should come easy enough if Honda maintains the form of his most recent season in Mexico.

Newcastle Jets - Matthew Ridenton

Ernie Merrick would not have raided former club Wellington Phoenix if he wasn't a fan of Matthew Ridenton's talents.

Merrick has described the midfielder as "quite outstanding" in pre-season and he appears primed to challenge established holders Ben Kantarovski and Steven Urgakovic.

Matt Ridenton

Perth Glory - Matthew Spiranovic

It's a matter of taking your pick from Perth.

An influx of top talent is perhaps headlined by Matthew Spiranovic, the 35-cap Caltex Socceroo set to add class and a cool head to an oft-vulnerable defence.

Reunited with Tony Popovic should see Spiranovic recapture top form.

Sydney FC - Adam Le Fondre

It's no easy task filling in for the Golden Boot winner.

But with Bobo gone, Sydney FC fans have real hope of a smooth transition thanks to Adam Le Fondre's arrival.

The penalty box predator should relish service from Milos Ninkovic and Siem de Jong.

Adam Le Fondre

Western Sydney Wanderers - Alexander Baumjohann

Hopes were high when he signed and Alexander Baumjohann has done nothing to downplay those rising expectations in a sparkling pre-season.

The gifted former Bayern Munich and Schalke playmaker has an eye for a pass that marks him out as a long-awaited heir to Shinji Ono.

Wellington Phoenix - Steven Taylor

Mark Rudan seems to have found the leader he desired in ex-Newcastle United defender Steven Taylor, a player not unlike himself.

Dominant on the pitch and an experienced, confident presence off it, the 32-year-old could be a fan favourite for the Phoenix.

Steven Taylor