Victory land Spanish midfielder Raul Baena

Hyundai A-League champions Melbourne Victory have strengthened their midfield ranks with the loan signing of Raul Baena from Spanish side Granada CF.

Victory have landed their fourth visa player off the off-season. Baena joins Keisuke Honda, Ola Toivonen and Georg Niedermeier as new faces in Kevin Muscat’s side for the 2018/19 Hyundai A-League campaign.

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Defensive midfielder Baena graduated from FC Barcelona’s esteemed ‘La Masia’ academy in 2007, before making his professional debut for Catalan rivals Espanyol and playing for Rayo Vallecano and Granada.

The 29-year-old, who has appeared in more than 150 La Liga games, will begin his one-season loan spell next week, subject to completion of a medical, and Muscat was delighted to get the deal over the line.

Quality addition

“Raul is a very well-rounded midfielder who also has great leadership qualities," Muscat said.

“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."