Football: Wellington Phoenix in no rush to replace All Whites forward Ben Waine in January transfer window

Wellington Phoenix aren't under any pressure to replace All Whites forward Ben Waine, after his transfer to English side Plymouth Argyle earlier this month.

After impressing during his short time in the A-League, Waine was snapped up by English League One leaders Plymouth, as they push towards promotion to the second-tier Championship - the level below the Premier League.

His departure for an undisclosed fee leaves the Phoenix with a gap in their roster for the rest of the 2022/23 A-League season, and gives the Kiwi club the potential to dip into the transfer market to bring in reinforcements.

But finding another player of Waine's calibre in January won't be easy for the Phoenix.

Foreign player limits leave the Phoenix having to find either a Kiwi or Australian player to take Waine's place.

And with few international quality players available in January, the Phoenix could be forced to wait to bolster their ranks.

However, general manager David Dome said club officials will meet in the coming days to assess their options, and could even hold off on finding a replacement until the off-season.

"We've actually got a discussion on that next week," Dome told Newshub. "We're having a session next week to see what we want to do in that space.

"We have a number of attacking options already. For us, it's about what's the next step, and planning for the future.

"What's the best replacement for Waineo [Waine] - if we do replace him? What does that look like for us in the near future?"

The Phoenix already have New Zealand under-17 representative Oskar van Hattum on their books, should they want an internal solution to fill Waine's shoes. 

Meanwhile, Dome is also confident Waine will be a success with his new team.

Plymouth are understood to have beaten a number of English Championship-level clubs to the 21-year-old's signature, as Waine nearly made an instant impact.

Waine was denied a debut goal for Plymouth by millimetres, as his effort was cleared off the line as he came off the bench in a 0-0 draw against Bolton Wanderers.

But as an international-quality player, Dome knows the best is yet to come from the former Phoenix forward.

Ben Waine.
Ben Waine. Photo credit: Getty Images

"Waineo's done a great job, he came on for Plymouth and by all accounts came close to scoring in his first game," Dome added. 

"[I'm] thrilled with Waineo, that he's got the move that we wanted. It's a great move for his career.

"Now it's just a case of him kicking on from that. I'm really looking forward to seeing how he performs over there.

"I think he'll do great."