By 90Min
August 22, 2017

Fulham have officially completed the signing or Portuguese defender Rafa Soares on a season-long loan from Porto, proudly stating that the 22-year-old chose Craven Cottage ahead of 'major European clubs' in order to test himself in English football.

Formerly a Portugal junior international, Soares spent last season on loan with Rio Ave in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. He is yet to play for Porto's first-team, but was a regular at B team level before a loan to Academica in January 2016.

"I'm very happy," the player told FulhamFC.com.

"I came here to help the club achieve its goals this season and I hope to experience a lot and do a good job. I have ambitions to improve myself too, and help the Club to have a good season.

"I had other options, other clubs were interested in me, but the way Fulham acted, I was decisive that I wanted to come here, and I think it's the right time to be here.

"Fulham has a reputation of a Premier League club and this season I want to help put the club back in the place it belongs."

Soares will compete for a place in the team with 17-year-old prodigy Ryan Sessegnon as Fulham look to mount another promotion charge after falling short in the playoffs last season.

"Rafa was worth the effort to pursue and, once he steps onto the pitch, our supporters will also see that he is worth the wait," Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan said.

Soares is currently nursing an ankle injury but will begin training in early September.

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