Steven King believes former Real Madrid and Liverpool youngster Gerardo Bruna will be a big hit at Whitehawk.

The Hawks boss had played down the arrival of the 23-year-old Spaniard who made his full debut in last Saturday’s 3-2 win at St Albans.

King wanted to see whether the midfielder could adapt to the rigours of non-league football after playing as a youngster for two of Europe’s finest.

But King is now convinced Bruna has the right mentality to contribute to Whitehawk’s push for a play-off place in Vanarama Conference south.

The Hawks are currently sixth in the table ahead of today’s visit of ninth-placed Chelmsford to the Enclosed Ground.

Bruna spent five years in the youth set-up at Real Madrid but turned down a professional contract to sign for Liverpool in the summer of 2007.

He made good progress at Anfield and helped the Reds win the reserve league championship but failed to make a first team appearance before moving on a two-year contract in July 2011 to Blackpool where he made four first team appearances.

Last season Bruna, who played for Spain in the European Under-17 Championships in Turkey in 2008, returned home to play for SD Huesca in Segunda Division B.

At the start of the season he decided to give English football another crack, signing a short-term deal with Tranmere but was released after a month with uncertainty surrounding the club having made just one appearance in a Capital One Cup tie against Nottingham Forest.

King said: “I got hold of him through my contacts and he was happy to come down.

“In the short time he has been with us you can see the quality he possesses, both in training and games.

“It was never a case of whether he was good enough for us. You don’t play for clubs like Real Madrid and Liverpool unless you have quality. It was a case of whether he could adapt to the non-league game so that he would be right for us.

“He has shown he is prepared to dig in, put his foot in to tackles and he is willing to work for the team.

“He will be a fantastic addition to the squad, particularly with that left foot he has. He will bring a lot to us.”

King would still like to add a central defender to his squad, having yet failed to replace Paul Lorraine who has been ruled out for the season with a knee injury.

Exodus Geohaghon came and went, while King has targeted numerous other potential signings but none has been successful.

Now the Hawks boss is ready to persist with former Charlton right-back Osei Sankofa who has been filling in at centre-back.

He said: “I have look at a lot of people but they had to be right for us and those I liked didn’t happen.

“Osei has come back from injury and played well at centre-back. People forget he played 41 games at centre-back for Ebbsfleet as they reached the play-off final last season.

“He has experience and he has played at a higher level.”

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