In a surprisingly quick development, Everton have signed left back Ruben Vinagre on a season-long loan from Sporting CP in Portugal. The Toffees reportedly have an option to make the loan permanent at the end of the season for £9 million should they so choose, though later reports now have the number at €21m, which is about £17.5m.
News had broken in Portuguese media of the Toffees interest in the former Wolves player late on Monday night, and the player was on Merseyside on Tuesday morning to complete his medicals and sign the paperwork for the loan.
The 23-year-old had been signed for Wolves by Everton’s current Director of Football Kevin Thelwell back in 2017, with the player then getting a new five-year deal in 2019. However, Vinagre never seemed to settle at the West Midlands side and ended up on loan to Sporting Club de Portugal last season with an obligation to buy. That clause was honoured barely days ago but then the Portuguese side decided they wanted to flip the player right back to the Premier League this time with Everton.
Welcome to Everton, Rúben Vinagre! pic.twitter.com/tyERZiZODt— Everton (@Everton) July 27, 2022
Speaking when he signed his new contract, Vinagre said -
“It’s a dream come true to join a big club like Everton. 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.”
Manager Frank Lampard said -
“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.”
With Vinagre added to the squad, it looks like Neils Nkounkou will be heading back out on loan this season, and the Portuguese player will be backing up Vitalii Mykolenko who has made the left fullback/wingback position his own since joining in January. The signing of Vinagre gives the Blues some decent squad depth out on the left, with Lampard having resorted to using Ben Godfrey and Jonjoe Kenny out wide last season.
Vinagre offers more offensive flair and attacking ability on the left flank than Mykolenko, and has featured in 70 games in all for Wolves including during their Championship-winning run in 2017 that gained them promotion to the Premier League.