Aziz Behich is officially back with Melbourne Heart, returning to the club on a year-long loan from Turkish Süper Lig side Bursaspor. The 22-year-old left sided player made 65 appearances with Heart between 2010-13 but could find little playing time in Turkey after leaving Australia in late January.
While Heart continue to try to lure a big name European to the club for this season, Behich joins Iain Ramsay and Massimo Murdocca as offseason acquisitions with significant A-League experience. Obviously Harry Kewell's capture has been the biggest news since Heart finished above Wellington Phoenix only on goal difference back in March. But as Melbourne Victory learned in Kewell's first spell in the A-League, it's not enough to just add such an iconic name and expect results. The right kind of complimentary players are the key to integrating a player like Kewell, and whomever else the club might bring in before October.
Regarding Behich, manager John Aloisi said in a club press release:
"Aziz brings so many qualities to our club that it was a no-brainer to have him back. He is just so full of energy and passion for the Heart. We were proud that we could help Aziz take the massive step to Europe but equally disappointed to lose him midway through last season."
Of course Behich is also well known as the first player to take the field for both Melbourne clubs, having made five appearances with Victory in the 2009/10 season. He will rejoin the Heart on Monday for his first training session as the club now has 20 players under contract for the upcoming season. Three spots remain with two possible international slots still available. Meanwhile, Heart won their first pre-season friendly 4-1 against GNEFA All-Stars in Shepparton with goals coming from Golgol Mebrahtu, Dylan Macallister, Benjamin Garuccio and Mate Dugandžić.