Former Premier League striker Rudy Gestede has joined Melbourne Victory in a significant boost to the club's bid to return to the A-League's upper echelon.
Gestede, 32, enjoyed a long career in the Premier League and English Championship at Cardiff City, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Middlesbrough.
Victory's third new international signing after English duo Callum McManaman and Jacob Butterfield, Gestede represented France at under-19 level before playing for Benin at senior level.
"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," Gestede said.
"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."
Gestede will give Victory experience in their striker stocks -- something desperately required after the departures of Ola Toivonen and Andrew Nabbout.
"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." Brebner said.
"He will bring a big presence for us up forward, is extremely athletic, very creative and will complement our attacking stocks."
Gestede isn't a part of Victory's Asian Champions League squad and will instead travel directly to Australia to complete hotel quarantine and prepare for the A-League season.