Pinatares must lift to avoid entering departure lounge

Bruno Pinatares is battling to avoid joining Federico Piovaccari, Vitor Saba and Seyi Adeleke as imported players who were frozen out at Western Sydney Wanderers when they couldn't produce the required form.

Bruno Pinatares

Bruno Pinatares in action for the Western Sydney Wanderers Source: Getty Images

Pinatares, signed from Uruguay on a one-year deal as a holding midfielder, started in the Sydney derby in round one, but after playing poorly he was replaced after just 59 minutes and hasn't been seen on the field since.

He was an unused substitute in both the both the second and third-round games and was dropped from the match-day squad for round four.

After that game, a 1-1 draw with Central Coast Mariners last Saturday, Popovic said it had been a "footballing decision" to drop Pinatares and striker Kerem Bulut and that he wanted to see more from them in training.

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Pinatares had barely made any impact in the 4-0 loss to Sydney FC. He came up with several decent balls out of the back to teammates, but nothing piercing, and too often he either made errors or was caught in no-man's land during opposition attacks.

It was a turnover from Pinatares that allowed the Sky Blues to build up for their second goal. He then had the ball taken off him following the subsequent kick-off and was soon after replaced.

The World Game understands Wanderers coach Tony Popovic has continued to work hard with Pinatares at training in an attempt to get what he wants from him, but the player's demotion for the game against Central Coast obviously wasn't a good sign.

It will be interesting to see if Pinatares is chosen to make the trip to Perth for Sunday's game against Glory at nib Stadium.

Popovic has had many more hits than misses with his signings from overseas. Shinji Ono, Iacopo La Rocca, Mateo Poljak, Youssouf Hersi, Romeo Castelen and current captain Dimas are included among his successes.



But those players who are judged to have not aimed up don't tend to remain at the club for long.     

Italian marquee striker Piovaccari played just 12 games last season before he was shunned after scoring only two goals and not displaying a high work-rate. He departed at the end of the season.

Brazilian midfielder Saba was used off the bench during the latter stages of the successful AFC Champions League campaign in 2014, but played just eight A-League games in the 2014-2015 season before being released halfway through.

Nigerian defender Adeleke played just four games before being released midway through the 2014-2015 season.


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3 min read
Published 2 November 2016 at 5:54pm
By Greg Prichard