NEWCASTLE Jets coach Ernie Merrick believes the speed and athleticism of Panamanian recruit Abdiel Arroya will help the striker make an immediate impact in the A-League.
The Jets confirmed on Monday that the 25-year-old would be joining the club on a one-year loan deal.
Panama went down 1-0 to Jamaica in the quarter-final of the CONCACAF Gold Cup in Philadelphia on Monday morning.
Arroya started on the right of a front two and played the full match. In his other start, the forward scored the opener in a 4-2 win over Guyana in the group stage.
"Abdiel is a relatively young player with a lot of pace and potential, and we're excited he's joining us for the season," Merrick said.
"His speed will hold him in good stead in this competition, he has an eye for goal and he's shown that lately with a goal in the Gold Cup.
"He's still very much in his prime at 25 years old, and the fact that he's playing regularly for the national team is another positive indicator of where he's at."
Arroyo has 47 caps for Panama and was a part of the squad at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
He played off the bench in a 6-1 loss to a Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling led England. He was also used as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Tunisia but did not feature in a 3-0 loss to Belgium.
The Jets players assembled on Monday for the start of pre-season. They will undergo a series of tests, with training proper to start later in the week.
Fresh faces Matt Millar and Nick Fitzgerald were on deck Monday, but Arroyo, who will be accompanied by his wife, does not arrive until August 1.
Now that Panama are out of the Gold Cup, courtesy of a 75th minute penalty, Arroyo will return to his club side Arabe Unido.
Jets CEO Lawrie McKinna said the visa process was underway and he didn't anticipate any issues.
"He won't be like some foreigners in the past, like Jair, who arrive here and are miles away from being fit," McKinna said. "He started games at the Gold Cup, scored goals...you can't ask for any more."
The Jets are on Tuesday expected to announce a pre-season friendly against another A-League team to be played in Dubbo.
Meanwhile, Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich have announced the signing of Wellington Phoenix playmaker Sarpreet Singh.
The 20-year-old A-League star has signed a three-year deal, starting initially with the German giants' reserve team in the third-tier 3 Liga competition.
The Phoenix will receive a transfer fee believed to be about $1million for Singh.
If the light-footed attacker impresses, he could become the first Kiwi to play in the first team of one of the European superpower.
He would also become the second New Zealander to play in the Bundesliga after Wynton Rufer, who had six seasons with Werder Bremen.
Singh's performances for New Zealand at the recent U-20 World Cup are believed to have attracted the eye of the German club's scouts.