Mariners sign Argentine

Central Coast has signed Argentine Patricio Perez on a two-year deal as the Mariners look to return to the finals in Graham Arnold's first season in charge of the club.

Central Coast has signed Argentine Patricio Perez on a two-year deal as the Mariners look to return to the finals in Graham Arnold's first season in charge of the club.

Twenty-five-year-old Perez was previously part of Argentina's 2005 Under-20 World Cup winning side alongside Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi and has since played with Argentine and Mexican first division sides Velez Sarsfield and Everton respectively.

Most recently he has been playing for Argentine Primera B side Defensa y Justicia, scoring five goals in 28 matches from the midfield.

Having seen him first-hand, Arnold believes Perez's skills can add a new element to a Mariners midfield that struggled to create goals at times last season.

"On the occasions I saw him play he scored two great goals and created plenty more chances for his strikers," said Arnold.

"He is an attacking midfielder who scores goals, has a great work rate and is also very creative."

"He's had the privilege of playing alongside some of the best players in the world and he will bring real quality to the Mariners."

"He is only small in stature but is so strong both on and off the ball, has wonderful vision and will bring plenty of excitement to the fans at Bluetongue Stadium, which is something I have set out to achieve from day one."

Perez said Arnold's influence was instrumental in getting him to Bluetongue Stadium.

"Clubs in Portugal and Greece came but I chose Australia because of the seriousness of Graham Arnold when he was in Argentina," said Perez through his agent.

"I found out what the A-League is like, (it's) a major league and is expanding."

"He (Arnold) spoke wonders of Australia as a country and it has aspirations of hosting the 2022 FIFA World Cup."