Ruben Vinagre has returned to the Premier League by signing for Everton on a season-long loan deal from Sporting CP.
Sporting only signed Vinagre from Wolves last summer on a loan deal of their own, which became permanent. However, they have sent him back to English football after a season in which he played 18 games for them.
Everton’s interest emerged earlier this week and they have now confirmed the acquisition of Vinagre on loan for the 2022-23 season.
The left-back, who will take the number 29 shirt, will compete for a place with January arrival Vitaliy Mykolenko.
Vinagre’s move to Goodison Park represents the second time Kevin Thelwell has brought him to English football. Everton’s director of football previously signed him while working in a similar capacity for Wolves.
Indeed, Vinagre named Thelwell, in addition to Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole, as convincing figures in his decision to choose Everton as his new club.
“It’s a dream come true to join a big club like Everton,” Vinagre told their in-house media. “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.”
Defender explains his characteristics
Ruben Vinagre previously played in 70 matches for Wolves, between the Championship, Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League.
Now, he is ready for a new challenge with Everton. Despite their close call in a relegation battle last season, he is optimistic he will experience several victories with them.
“I give everything for my teammates,” he explained. “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.”
Thelwell and Lampard welcome Ruben Vinagre to Everton
As Vinagre alluded to, he has an existing understanding with Thelwell, who is overseeing Everton’s recruitment this summer.
The director of football believes Vinagre will bring several positive attributes to the Everton side.
“Ruben is a player I know very well, having helped bring him to English football during our time together at Wolverhampton Wanderers,” Thelwell reminded.
“He is a talented, young defender with many attributes who has an excellent attitude and works hard at his game.”
As for manager Lampard, it will be beneficial to have another option at his disposal this season.
“I’m looking forward to working with Ruben this season,” Lampard said. “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 Ruben in gives us more options.”
Everton’s statement suggested Vinagre could make his debut during their pre-season friendly against Dynamo Kyiv at Goodison Park on Friday.