It has been a good few weeks for Melbourne City, winning the club’s first-ever premier’s plate, having three players selected for the Socceroos, and making their way into their second consecutive Grand Final appearance.
While that might seem like a lot, there was one more thing to come. Melbourne City’s social media team sent the club’s fan base into meltdown last night, posting on their Twitter and Facebook accounts a picture of Maclaren waving with the caption The Club will have an update on Jamie Maclaren’s future at 8.00 am Wednesday.
This led many to feel that the club’s spearhead was on his way out. However, when news broke this morning that he had extended his contract for a further two years, a collective sigh could be heard all across Melbourne.
The Golden Boot winner spoke with the club’s official website about his new deal.
“You always have that one club in your career where it just feels like home. Melbourne City is that place for me – both on and off the pitch,” he said.
“This group is special and we’re building something unique. When people think of Melbourne City, we want our fans to see our strong culture, enjoy our style of attacking football, and celebrate with us when we win trophies. We work hard every day to achieve this.
“For the fans, when I hear you chant my name, it motivates me to score. I feel very lucky, I’m a proud Melbourne boy, who gets to represent this great football club.”
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What the deal means is that Maclaren is now tied to City for the next three years. That in itself is a massive signing for a club that scored 57 goals in their 26 games this campaign, with Maclaren scoring 25 of them.
City already possesses one of the best attacks in the league, however, they are going to get even better next season. With Maclaren re-signing, he joins Andrew Nabbout, who has signed on until the 2023/24 season. Then, you add Mathew Leckie on a three-year deal to form an incredible attacking trio. The front three of Leckie, Nabbout and Maclaren is one that will send shudders down the spine for the rest of the league.
How exactly you stop all three will be a herculean task and one that might not even be possible. Add into that young guns in Marco Tilio, Stefan Colakovski, Nathaniel Atkinson, and Connor Metcalfe. Not to mention Adrian Luna and Florin Berenguer.
It does, though, seem unlikely that City will be able to retain all of their players. Assist king Craig Noone is already out the door. He has signed for new boys Macarthur FC for next season and expects more to follow.
Maclaren’s re-signing is seen as the perfect lead-up to the club’s home grand final against Sydney FC on Sunday. Although City will be without their premier marksman for the penultimate game of the season, they are in a position to dominate the league for years to come.
City fans thought they were about to lose a back-to-back Golden Boot winner and Socceroos striker. Instead, they can look forward to seeing their number nine at AAMI Park for the next three years.
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