Asian football expert John Duerden assesses the signing of Aritz Borda, Wanderers' latest acquisition, with one Segunda Division coach predicting the Spanish defender can be as successful in Western Sydney as compatriot Diego Castro in the Hyundai A-League.
Given the success that Spain has had in the international football arena over the past decade at club and country level, it is not a surprise that Spanish players are welcome pretty much everywhere they go.
That does not mean that Aritz Borda is going to be a success at his new club Western Sydney Wanderers but those who know the central defender are confident that he has what it takes to settle and then star at the 2014 AFC Champions League winners, saying he is a mixture of silk and steel in the backline.
Borda has played in his homeland for Recreativo de Huelva, Real Sociedad B, Bilbao Athletic and Mirandes before moving to Cyprus and APOEL.
The 31 year-old then had a short spell at Thailand powerhouse Muangthong United before a return to Europe and Rapid Bucaresti and then back to Spain and Alaves.
Ricardo Rodriguez is a Spanish coach, a former assistant at Malaga and head coach of Girona.
He has also spent the last three years in Thailand, taking Ratchaburi to a record fourth place before taking Bangkok Glass to a top four spot when he left four games before the season end.
Rodriguez, 42, believes that his compatriot's short spell in Thailand was due to a lack of time with the club before making his debut.
“I remember that we played against him when I was in Ratchaburi and he was in Muangthong for the second part of the season,” said Rodriguez.
“He had just come from Cyprus without a lot of time to adapt and then there was a very intense schedule without time to train. Maybe that was the reason that his performance was good but lacked consistency.”
The talent as well as the pre-season time is there to be a success in Australia, according to Rodriguez.
“He is a central defender that has a very good aerial game. He is strong in the challenge and passes well with both feet. His building up process is interesting as well and he has a good capacity to score goals in set pieces in attack.”
The player's specialty is, according to coaches at his most recent close Alaves, incisive diagonal balls from defence that can be sprayed using left or right feet in order to start quick attacks.
Rodriguez tips Borda to impress in the Hyundai A-League. “He can be successful like Sergio Cirio at Adelaide United, Diego Castro at Perth and also Dimas at Western Sydney Wanderers.”
It is no surprise to Rodriguez that Australian clubs are in the market for Spanish players. “I think because Australia supporters want to watch good football then the Spanish style is something that most people like.
"These kind of players can add to the process and to the spectacle.”
Rodriguez, a former assistant at Saudi Arabia, also wouldn't mind the chance to face Borda on the pitch.
A job in the Hyundai A-League is something he would seriously consider. Compatriot Josep Gombau was so successful in his time at Adelaide United that he was appointed to take over the country's Under-23 team, the Olyroos, last month.
"I have worked two and a half years in Thailand and two in Saudi Arabia and I would like to continue improving as a coach in a league like Australia.
"I think my style of attacking football and a high press is something that can adapted perfectly to Australian football culture. Improving young players to make a team in order to make supporters happier is something that I always try to do with my teams."
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