Club News

Porto winger Varela seals Hawthorns move

Portugal international arrives on season-long loan

ALBION have recruited FC Porto winger Silvestre Varela on a season-long loan.

The pacey Portugal international becomes the Baggies’ tenth summer signing after passing a Hawthorns medical.

The right-sided player arrives in the Black Country boasting an impressive Primeira Liga record of 30 goals in 115 starts.

Varela has won 26 caps for his country and scored five times. The 29-year-old can also play on the left and increases Alan Irvine’s attacking options.

“Silvestre is a vastly-experienced player, both with Porto and his national team, and I’m delighted we’ve managed to secure his services,” said the Baggies head coach.

“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 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.

Varela 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 ten 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 Taca de Portugal cup for the second time and scored in the quarter-final first leg against Spartak Moscow en route to winning the Europa League.

Varela also has a wealth of Champions League experience, with his three goals at that level coming in wins over Arsenal, Dynamo Kiev and Dinamo Zagreb.