Wanderers confirm Ryan Griffiths capture

The veteran forward revealed Tony Popovic’s enthusiasm to bring him back to the A-League was critical to his transfer

Western Sydney Wanderers have signed Australian striker Ryan Griffiths as they look to make a late surge for the A-League finals.

The 35-year-old was unveiled by the Wanderers on Tuesday, with Western Sydney becoming the third A-League club Griffiths has played for after Newcastle Jets and Adelaide United.

GFX Ryan Griffiths

The former Socceroos forward spent 2016 with Hong Kong Premier League club South China after a year with Sarawak in the Malaysian Super League.

“It’s definitely exciting times and I was very excited to come here when [coach] Tony [Popovic] called me and asked if I was available and he was really enthusiastic to get me back,” Griffiths said in a statement.

“That was something that showed me a lot of respect. I’ve heard a lot of good things about him as a coach.

“I wanted to join the squad and come back and do well for Western Sydney in the ACL and the league and give 100 per cent that’s for sure.”

Griffiths has played 60 A-League matches and scored 20 goals in his time with Newcastle and Adelaide, while the Sydney-born striker has spent the majority of his career playing in Asia, with extensive stints in China with Liaoning Whowin, Beijing Guoan and Beijing Baxy.

Western Sydney have been in the market for a striker throughout January with the Wanderers having been linked with potential guest marquee signings Robbie Keane and Didier Drogba, plus young Australian centre-forward Eli Babalj.

With Kerem Bulut having departed the club in December, the Wanderers have had only two genuine options to play up front in veteran super-sub Brendon Santalab and youngster Lachlan Scott.

With the AFC Champions League coming up, Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic will undoubtedly be happy to have secured another forward option as he also looks to turn the Red-and-Black’s fortunes around in the A-League.

The Wanderers sit eighth with 10 games to go, two points outside the finals positions.