On paper, there seems to be a big improvement on Meier, who was shown the door by the Wanderers after a dismal 12 games for the club.
The Wanderers have not yet confirmed Meier’s departure but will have to drive out one of their five foreigners to make room for Cox. Meier also did not respond to requests from the Herald.
Meier, 37, was not included in the Western Sydney team for Sunday’s clash with Perth Glory at Bankwest Stadium and was not listed as unavailable due to an injury.
The fact that recruitment moves of this magnitude are underway in the January window suggests that Babbel still has the support of President Paul Lederer and has been given the opportunity to reverse the fate of Western Sydney.
The Wanderers will welcome Perth Glory to Bankwest Stadium after losing six of their last eight games. The Glory, coached by Western Sydney foundation boss Tony Popovic, has won his last five games.
Babbel was convinced that Meier was the missing piece of the puzzle and has repeatedly defended him from criticism of his poor A-League production but seems to have lost patience with the man known as “fussballgott” in Germany.
His signature was trumpeted as a major blow when it was first announced in September, but Meier never seemed comfortable in an A-League field.
He made eight starts for the Wanderers, leaving the bench four times, and scored only one goal – a cracker from the distance in the second round against Melbourne Victory, throwing the ball over the head of goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas, who had ventured out of the his line.
It was hoped that that moment would be a harbinger of what was to come from Meier, but it turned out to be a false dawn.
With his slender structure and awkward gait, Meier seemed to struggle to match the rhythm of the A-League, while his teammates also failed to provide him with the kind of regular service he received in Germany.
Last month, Meier told al Herald he still believed he had good football left in him and insisted that many people canceled him because of his age.
“What everyone thinks is: ‘Oh, he’s 37, he’s old,'” he said. “If I had the same quality right now, the same level and I would be 28 or 29, nobody would say anything.
“When you are tall, when you move, everything is slower … a little silly. Maybe that’s why. But I think people who understand football know it.
“And, for me, it’s okay. Some people say I’m fine, others say I’m shit, but this has been my whole career, with everyone. Everyone sees football differently. But I can’t and I don’t want to change anyone’s mind.
“I do everything I can and that’s all I can do. I put pressure on myself because I still love the game, I worry about the team and the club. Otherwise … if I don’t care anymore, then I should stop.”
Vince is a sports journalist for The Sydney Morning Herald.