Melbourne Victory's Rudy Gestede believes he can be even more influential in the A-League than former skipper Ola Toivonen
Melbourne Victory boom recruit Rudy Gestede says he can be the difference as the A-League club attempts to recapture its past glories.
Gestede joined Victory after a long career in Europe, including stints in the Premier League and English Championship at Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
The striker will lead the line for Grant Brebner's side and was confident he could be even more influential than former skipper and dominant attacker Ola Toivonen who scored 25 goals in 40 A-League games.
"Hopefully I will dominate the league more than Toivonen," Gestede told reporters.
"He did well. I checked the footage from him to see how the league is.
"We've got a good team this season with young players and experienced ones so we are going to compete to win."
At 193cm tall, Gestede will clearly pose an aerial threat, but the Benin international was adamant he could offer a presence beyond his size.
"I can bring more than just a target man," he said.
"Obviously I use my abilities. If you put the ball in the box, I will be there but I can use my feet.
"I will come to help the team, dropping off, then being in the box. My goal is to score and that's what I am going to do."
Now 32, Gestede said he'd come to Australia for a fresh challenge, while the country's relative lack of COVID-19 cases also appealed to he and his young family.
Gestede is yet to meet his Victory teammates as they are quarantining in Sydney after their ACL campaign, while he only recently arrived in Melbourne after completing hotel quarantine with his family in Perth.
He was confident he could quickly settle despite only having a few days of training before Victory's season opener against Brisbane on January 2.
A player who lists scoring against Manchester United and Liverpool among his career highlights, Gestede now shapes as Brebner's missing piece in attack.
"He (Brebner) said 'I want you to bring your experience, to help out the young players because they've got quality and to bring your quality on the pitch, scoring goals,'" Gestede said.
"He needed someone to finish the occasion - to score goals and that's why I'm there.
"I will give everything I can to help the young players and obviously I'm there to perform myself, also."