Spanish recruit can spark City: Mombaerts

Melbourne City recruit Markel Susaeta in action for Athletic Bilbao against Barcelona in 2015.
Melbourne City recruit Markel Susaeta in action for Athletic Bilbao against Barcelona in 2015.

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts believes new signing Markel Susaeta can be the spark to ignite his team's misfiring A-League attack.

Susaeta, who made more than 500 appearances for La Liga club Athletic Bilbao, this week signed until the end of the season.

He looks likely to debut off the bench against Newcastle Jets on Saturday.

Mombaerts was surprised Susaeta was willing to come to the A-League, given it can sometimes be difficult to persuade European players to move to Australia.

"He's a great player for us - a great background, he played a lot of games in one of the best championships of the world - La Liga," Mombaerts said on Friday.

"I think also he has all the qualities we need in our style of player.

"Spanish players are always good technically, they also understand well about possession-based football.

"He's not a Barca player, but he's Athletic Bilbao and all teams in La Liga try to have a good possession-based football.

"And he's a great player but he's also a very good man with a very good attitude.

"He wants also to come (to the A-League) so he shows that he has a very good attitude - so that is also very important."

Susaeta can play in the No.10 role or on either the left or right wing, adding further versatility to City's attack.

City now have a plethora of attacking options, however Mombaerts challenged his frontmen to improve their conversion rate.

"We have good attacking players, but I expect better," Mombaerts said

"We are improving our positioning, our quicker tactical decision-making, but I expect better about our two attacking midfielders, about creativity and (in) finishing also.

"It's my point of view - and they know also that it's not enough. We have to create more, we have to be more involved in finishing situations."

Australian Associated Press