Signing news: Premier League veteran Gestede joins Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory is pleased to announce it has signed former English Premier League striker Rudy Gestede ahead of the 2020/21 A-League season.

Gestede arrives at Victory with close to 300 games of experience, having played in England’s top-flight and Championship for Cardiff, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and, most recently, Middlesbrough. 

Prior to playing in England, Gestede spent several years in France with Metz and Cannes. He’s also performed on the international stage, representing France at U19 level before being called up to the Benin national team in 2012. 

Gestede said he was excited to be joining Victory this season.

“I am extremely pleased to have signed with Melbourne Victory for this season,” Gestede said.

“After speaking with the club, in particular Grant Brebner, I was very impressed with the vision they outlined around the brand of football they want to play and the role they want me to play.

“The club has been very successful in the past, they have great facilities and I can’t wait to meet up with my new teammates and start putting in the hard work.

“I’m really looking forward to moving to Melbourne, playing in front of the members and fans and helping the club work its way back up the table.”

The 32-year-old becomes Victory’s third overseas signing of the pre-season, joining Callum McManaman and Jacob Butterfield to pull on the navy blue.

Head Coach, Grant Brebner, said he was thrilled to have signed Gestede.

“It’s fantastic to have Rudy join our squad for the upcoming season,” Brebner said.

“When we commenced the process to recruit players to our club, we had a particular type of player we wanted. They had to fit the brand of football we want to play, but they also had to fit into the culture we are building, and Rudy ticked all those boxes.

“Rudy has played and performed in the toughest club competition in the world, so he will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our squad. He will bring a big presence for us up forward, is extremely athletic, very creative and will complement our attacking stocks.

“We look forward to Rudy putting in the hard work over the coming weeks so he’s ready to go once the season starts on December 27.”  

Gestede will not be a part of the AFC Champions League squad and will travel directly to Australia in the coming weeks to quarantine and commence preparations for the 2020/21 A-League season ahead.