Top 10 Aussies Abroad in Europe in 2016-17

by Ben Somerford on Jun 18, 2017

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Plenty of Aussies abroad dominated in Europe during the 2016-17 season, so we thought we look back and put together our top 10 list.

Naturally, the standard of leagues is taken into account. For example, Mathew Leckie is an unlucky omission after being a regular for relegated Bundesliga club Ingolstadt.

Leckie’s form did enough to convince Hertha Berlin to sign him, but his lack of goals and end-product meant he’s been left out.

Another factor is longevity of impact. For example, Mat Ryan practically missed half a season at Valencia but was impressive on loan at Genk but misses out.

Oh and we’ve focused solely on European leagues running 2016-17, not Asian comps although there’s few putting their hand up there anyway.

We can’t go on forever making apologies so let’s get into it:

10. Ryan Edwards (Partick Thistle)

45 appearances, 1 goal

The 23-year-old midfielder had a breakout season as Partick Thistle qualified for the Scottish Premier League top six for the first time.

Edwards was a key plank with his work ethic in midfield, winning back-to-back Thistle Player of the Month awards during the campaign. Wasn’t in the first XI at the beginning of the season, but took his chance and made 33 starts, earning a maiden Socceroos call-up in March.

9. Mustafa Amini (AGF)

37 appearances, 5 goals

The midfielder enjoyed his switch from Randers to AGF in Denmark’s Superliga, although his club battled relegation until the end.

Amini, 24, helped keep them up with a Player of the Match display in their relegation play-off. It wasn’t the only time he impressed, with several starring displays in a variety of midfield roles, prompting his maiden Australia call-up in March too.

8. Massimo Luongo (QPR)

38 appearances, 1 goal

Luongo’s 2016-17 campaign was far from perfect, but he persisted and played a significant role in keeping QPR in England’s second tier as they flirted with the drop after a loss of form.

The nuggety midfielder netted his first goal for the Rs in March and drew praise from boss Ian Holloway too. “The way he’s playing is very satisfying,” he said. “He’s a gentleman, plays the game fairly and firmly, wants to win and he’s very very good.”

7. Tomi Juric (Luzern)

34 appearances, 11 goals

The big striker finished off the 2016-17 season with a bang, netting four goals in five games, before hitting the back of the net twice in Australia’s 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia.

Prior to that he hadn’t been prolific in his debut season in Switzerland, with a knee injury setback in November, although the Swiss winter break meant he didn’t miss much football. Scored eight goals in the league, including plenty with his head, helping Luzern finish fifth.

6. Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa)

34 appearances, 2 assists

There’s a remarkable statistic at Aston Villa about the bearded midfielder. Without him in the starting XI in 2016-17, they won once and lost seven times in 13 games. With him, they won 15 and drew nine of 33 games.

Team-mate Henri Lansbury summed it up, when he said: “He never lets you down. I thought he was one of the players of the season for us and I don’t think you can underestimate his importance as we head into the next season.”

5. Mitchell Langerak (VfB Stuttgart)

36 appearances, 10 clean sheets

Langerak finally established himself as a number one goalkeeper and was excellent as Stuttgart won the German tier title and earned promotion to the Bundesliga.

The Emerald-born 28-year-old custodian kept nine clean sheets in 2.Bundesliga. His side may have won the title but Langerak was kept busy, yet he was a reliable shot-stopper, particularly with reflex saves. Langerak didn’t miss one minute of Stuttgart’s triumphant campaign, playing every game.

4. Tom Rogic (Celtic)

37 appearances, 12 goals

The fleet-footed midfielder may have missed more than three months with an ankle injury but he still played a lot of football in 2016-17 and made a massive impact when fit.

No one will forget his dramatic match-winning goal in stoppage-time in the Scottish Cup final. Labelled the “magic man” by Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, Rogic played UEFA Champions League football too, taking on no less than Barcelona and Manchester City.

In total he netted 12 goals over the course of the season in all competitions, but he’d hit a purple patch with four goals in seven games before his ankle injury in December. Firmly established himself as a starter for Celtic this season.

3. Jackson Irvine (Burton Albion)

44 appearances, 10 goals

Enjoyed an outstanding debut season in England’s Championship following his move from Scottish outfit Ross County, where newly promoted Burton Albion outlaid a club record transfer fee.

The 24-year-old midfielder wasn’t a regular scorer in Scotland, but added that to his game at Burton, typically arriving late into the box to net, which was a massive contributor to the Brewers’ unexpected survival. He scored four goals inside the first month of the Championship season.

Burton boss Nigel Clough said: “He has been superb for us.” Naturally, Irvine scooped the pool at Burton’s end-of-season awards, taking home the club’s Player of the Season gong, along with the Top Scorer Award and Players’ Player of the Season.

2. Brad Jones (Feyenoord)

42 appearances, 20 clean sheets

The veteran Australian shot-stopper enjoyed the best season of his professional career as Feyenoord broke their 18-year wait to win the Dutch Eredivisie title.

Jones was an ever-present, making 32 Eredivisie appearances in goal and keeping a league high 17 clean sheets. Feyenoord only conceded 25 goals in 34 matches, with Jones playing a significant role in that.

Stepped up in the injury-enforced absence of Kenneth Vermeer and did well enough to earn a two-year extension in May.

1. Aaron Mooy (Huddersfield Town)

51 appearances, 4 goals

The man affectionately dubbed the ‘pasty Pirlo’ by Huddersfield Town fans had an unbelievable maiden season in England’s Championship as has been well documented so he’s our clear winner.

Mooy made 48 Championship appearances, scoring four goals, but that doesn’t tell the story. At Town, he was deployed in a deeper midfield role than we’re accustomed too and was the side’s architect to their dream Premier League promotion.

The 26-year-old was duly recognised with the club’s Player of the Year gong along with a host of other awards. He was also named in the Championship Team fo the Year and English Football League Team of the Year.