Everton have completed the loan signing of defender Rúben Vinagre from Sporting Clube de Portugal for the 2022/23 season.
The 23-year-old Portuguese, who can play on the left side of defence and as a left wing-back, is Blues manager Frank Lampard’s second addition of the summer after the arrival of James Tarkowski.
A pacy defender who is comfortable on the ball and adept at crossing, Vinagre reunites with Director of Football, Kevin Thelwell, who first brought him to English football in 2017 when he was Sporting Director at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Vinagre, who will wear shirt number 29 for Everton this season, could make his first Blues appearance in Friday’s pre-season friendly against Dynamo Kyiv at Goodison Park (7.45pm BST).
“It’s a dream come true to join a big club like Everton,” Vinagre told evertontv. “The opportunity to work with very good players and a very good coach in Frank Lampard made me excited to sign.
“The manager is a football legend. Everybody knows him and the opportunity to work with and learn from him and someone like Ashley Cole – one of football’s best left-backs - is very big for me.
“Kevin was important, too, because he knows me very well from when we worked together at Wolves. He explained to me about Everton’s proud history and the qualities you need here because it’s a very big club and you have to give everything for the supporters.”
Portugal Under-21 international Vinagre, who did not taste defeat in any of the 16 league and domestic cup matches he played for Sporting last season, added: “I give everything for my teammates. I always want to win because that is the only way. That’s why I’ve come to Everton: to win. They are my characteristics.
“I’m good with the ball, I like to attack and also recover the ball – I like to do everything in the game!
“I remember that Goodison Park is a very difficult stadium to play in for opponents because of the atmosphere. Now it’s good to be on Everton fans’ side. I’m looking forward to getting started.”
After coming through Sporting’s academy, Vinagre signed his first professional contract with Ligue 1 club AS Monaco before joining Wolves in the summer of 2017, initially on loan.
The defender, who has also played right-back during his career, helped the Midlands club win the Championship in his maiden campaign in English football and was a key part of the side that reached the Europa League quarter-finals in 2019/20.
Vinagre returned to Sporting on loan in July 2021 ahead of a permanent switch to the Portuguese giants last summer.
Director of Football, Thelwell, said: “Rúben is a player I know very well, having helped bring him to English football during our time together at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“He is a talented, young defender with many attributes who has an excellent attitude and works hard at his game.”
Manager Lampard added: “I’m looking forward to working with Rúben this season. He’s a player with Premier League experience who will add quality and depth to our squad. It’s important to have competition for places and bringing Rúben in gives us more options.”