Alessandro Del Piero is irreplaceable, Graham Arnold says, but the new Sydney FC coach has vowed to bring a similarly good player to the A-League club.
Arnold was on Thursday unveiled as Sydney's eighth coach in nine seasons, with the former Central Coast mentor saying his three-year deal was a "dream come true".
The former Socceroos coach replaces Frank Farina, who was sacked barely two weeks ago after failing to get the club beyond the opening week of the A-League finals.
Arnold prided himself on winning the championship and minor premiership during his three seasons at the cash-strapped Mariners without a big-name marquee player.
He now says he's excited to be at a club where he will have a chequebook at his disposal.
He'll look to fill the foreign and Australian marquee spots with Del Piero and Brett Emerton's departures leaving both vacant.
The likes of Nicolas Anelka, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and Diego Forlan have been thrown up as possible targets.
"I wouldn't say I was never a fan of marquees. I just worked at a club that could never afford to have a marquee," he said.
"But if you look at what Alessandro Del Piero did for this league and for this club, it's massive.
"We have to take our time to get the right ones who can have an impact like Alessandro did.
"We'll never match that type of player with our next marquee in status, but we have to try and match that in performance." AAP