Sunday 24 August 2014
West Bromwich Albion have completed their 10th signing of the summer transfer window by securing a deal to bring Porto winger Silvestre Varela to The Hawthorns on a season-long loan.
"He's got pace and power, gets his fair share of goals and is also a creator of chances for others
The Portugal international, who agreed terms after passing a medical on Sunday, arrives in the Black Country boasting a Primeira Liga record of 30 goals in 115 starts and has been capped 26 times by his country.
"Silvestre is a vastly-experienced player, both with Porto and his national team, and I'm delighted we've managed to secure his services," West Brom head coach Alan Irvine told www.wba.co.uk. "He's got pace and power, gets his fair share of goals and is also a creator of chances for others. He's a fantastic addition to our squad."
Varela, who rose through the international ranks from Under-19s level, netted twice in qualifying to help Portugal reach this summer’s FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil, where he came off the bench to score a last-gasp equaliser in the 2-2 Group G draw with the USA.
The 29-year-old, who can play on both the left and right flank, came through Sporting Clube de Portugal's youth system, making his senior debut in August 2003 before loans spells at Casa Pia, Vitoria Setubal and Recreativo Huelvo. He made a permanent move to Estrela Amadora in summer 2008 before sealing a switch to Porto the following year.
His best season for the Portuguese giants came in 2010/11 when he scored 10 goals in 26 league appearances under then-manager Andre Villas-Boas to help secure the first of three successive titles. During the same campaign, he also netted in a 6-2 rout of Vitoria Guimaraes to win the Portuguese Cup for the second time and scored in the quarter-final first leg against Spartak Moscow en route to winning the UEFA Europa League.
Varela also has a wealth of UEFA Champions League experience, with his three goals at that level coming in wins over Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb.
The winger follows the summer arrivals of strikers Brown Ideye and Giorgios Samaras, Andre Wisdom, on loan from Liverpool, Craig Gardner, Joleon Lescott, Chris Baird, Sebastien Pocognoli, Jason Davidson and Carlos Gamboa.