Adelaide United is delighted to announce the signing of Riley McGree from Belgium giants, Club Brugge, on a three-year contract after the Reds finalised a deal to purchase the attacking midfielder.
The 20-year-old returns to his hometown club for an undisclosed fee and will remain with Adelaide until the end of the Hyundai A-League 2021/22 season, in what is a massive coup for the Reds.
Following a breakout 2016/17 campaign with United – which saw him earn a call-up to the Socceroos as an 18-year-old – McGree joined the Belgian outfit in July 2017.
Eager to continue getting senior football experience, McGree spent the last 18 months on loan back in the Hyundai A-League, first with the Newcastle Jets and most recently with Melbourne City. During these loan spells, the young attacker scored a combined 13 goals in 42 matches across all competitions.
McGree’s acquisition bolsters the Reds’ midfield with his creativity, versatility, and guile in possession some of his strongest attributes.
Speaking on the decision to re-sign with Adelaide, McGree said: “It’s great to be back with Adelaide United and to have another opportunity at this great club ahead of a big season.
“As a team, Adelaide had a very good season last year and were unlucky to miss out on a place in the Grand Final, so I have big ambitions for the club and myself for sure.
“Gertjan likes to play a style of football that suits me well so I’m excited to be part of this team and cannot wait for it all to begin.”
Director of Football, Bruce Djite, said the purchase of McGree was one of the most significant signings in the club’s history.
“At just 20 years of age, Riley is only beginning to scratch the surface in terms of what he can achieve in his career,” Djite explained. “His potential is undoubted and his quality has been on display for the past three seasons after breaking through with us in 2016.
“Being picked-up by a European club like Brugge at 18 says a lot about him as a footballer, but for us to be willing and able to pay a transfer fee for him and successfully bring him back to South Australia is a strong statement from the club. It also demonstrates our intent this season.
“Riley’s the type of player that can certainly be the difference in any game and is therefore an integral part of our recruiting puzzle.
“Riley possesses all the attributes that we are looking for when we consider who we bring in to the club, not just his footballing ability but his character and willingness to improve and work tirelessly.”
After making his Reds debut in March 2016, McGree accumulated a total of 23 appearances and scored two goals during his first stint with the club.
McGree, who will take the No. 8 shirt for the Reds, becomes Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek’s, 20th contracted player ahead of the 2019/20 season and will begin pre-season training immediately.