Having secured one of the most important pieces of their on-field puzzle with the midweek signing of Mitch Nichols, the Western Sydney Wanderers are hunting down what they believe is the final part: a goal-scoring striker to fire them back into the finals.
The Wanderers had two forwards with the most potential in Australian football last season, Tomi Juric and Kerem Bulut, but both left the club in recent months – and occasional striker Nikita Rukavytsya is also looking for a new home – leaving a gaping hole in attack.
Nor has the task of finding new forwards been easy, and the club is still waiting to see what options are presented, be they from within the A-League or abroad. Either way, chief executive John Tsatsimas says an elite finisher is their top priority as pre-season approaches.
"There's only a few spots left for us to fill and we make no secret that our priority is getting a top-quality No.9 to the club," Tsatsimas said on Sunday. "That's now our main focus in recruitment. But we're not panicking and we think there's still plenty of time. We'll make the right call when the time comes. The key for us is to get it right.
"We've been fairly judicious in our processes since the end of the season and we haven't rushed into anything. There's a period coming up where we think more options might materialise."