Melbourne Victory have secured Spanish defensive midfielder Raul Baena on a one-year loan from Granada CF.
Baena is the fourth visa player to join the Victory alongside Ola Toivonen, Georg Niedermeier and Keisuke Honda.
The deal is a coupe for the reigning premiers, who will likely utilise Baena’s skill and experience to ease the defensive load of veterans Carl Valeri and Leigh Broxham.
Baena is a product of the Barcelona youth academy, where he graduated in 2007. He has played over 150 games for La Liga side Espanyol, and most recently captained Segunda Division team Granada CF during the 2017/18 season.
“Raul is a very well-rounded midfielder who also has great leadership qualities,” Head Coach Kevin Muscat said in a press release on www.melbournevictory.com.au.
“He is the kind of player who can control the tempo of a game with his work rate and passing.
“I’m really pleased to have locked in so many quality additions with time to integrate them into the playing group.
“We identified the key areas of the side that we wanted to bolster and worked diligently to bring in players of a high calibre.”
Baena joins Victory as part of an increasingly international outfit, and is expected to meet with his new teammates next week.