Ranked! Every Singapore Premier League side's transfer business
9. Geylang International
Aside from the astute signings of the experienced Fumiya Kogure and Azhar Sairudin from Hougang, and the retention of the talented Shawal Anuar and Anders Aplin, the Eagles have not significantly bolstered their side.
Gone are the likes of Gabriel Quak, Syazwan Buhari, Faritz Hameed and Safirul Sulaiman, as Geylang have also promoted a number of youngsters from their Prime League squad.
The departure of head coach Noor Ali, who left on a 10 month coaching stint with Japanese side Matsumoto Yamaga, means Hirotaka Usui is taking charge of the team for the season.
Given the lack of significant transfer activity this window, Usui has an uphill task on his hands.
Photo: Balestier Khalsa
8. Hougang United
The highest-profile Hougang signing has been Ilocos United's Adam Mitter. The 25-year-old English defender brings with him bags of experience in a well-travelled career, which head coach Philippe Aw hopes will bolster the Hougang defence.
Aside from Mitter, Hougang have decided to retain the services of Italian Antoine Viterale. Having played 13 times in the league for Hougang, the 21-year-old has yet to break his duck. His only goal came in the RHB Singapore Cup when he scored against a weak Ceres side. Aw will be hoping that Viterale puts his struggles behind him to fire Hougang to success.
However, given Aw’s ability to bring out the best in youngsters, it will be interesting to see how the Cheetahs fare this year. With the U-23 rule in place, perhaps Aw’s Hougang might be where some might flourish - but their squad could still find it tough to cope with the rigours of the league.
Photo: Haiqal Tahir/Hougang United
7. Albirex Niigata
The only reason why the White Swans are so far down this list is solely because of the departure of many key players.
The likes of Takuya Akiyama (Ventforet Kofu), Tsubasa Sano (Roasso Kumamoto), Shuto Inaba (Kataller Toyama), Yasutaka Yanagi (Albirex Niigata FC, Japan) and Kento Nagasaki (Thai Honda FC) have left for green pastures. These were the players that were part of the scintillating Albirex side that clinched the quadruple last year.
In the process of losing these star men, they no longer possess the goalscoring threat of Sano, the set-piece brilliance of Nagasaki and defensive reliability of Akiyama.
Albirex have done what they do every other year – bring in more youngsters from Japan. Many of the players brought in come from different universities and high schools, and will have to prove themselves in the SPL. The White Swans have also snapped up two talented Singaporeans in the likes of Adam Swandi and Shahul Rayyan.
Albirex will no doubt remain a title contender this season due to their pedigree and their players' technical ability, but it remains to be seen if they will continue the path of sterling success like last year.
Photo: Albirex Niigata