Portugal midfielder João Palhinha completed his move to Premier League side Fulham on Tuesday, and admitted the Portuguese presence at the London club was a big influence on his decision.

Palhinha is Luso boss Marco Silva’s first major signing of the summer after securing promotion in impressive fashion back to the English top flight. The 26-year-old has signed a five-year contract at Craven Cottage for a fee reportedly in the region of €23m.

“I’m very glad to be here, it’s a big opportunity for me in my career to play in the best league in the world,” Palhinha told the club’s media. “I signed with a great club, they wanted me and I chose this club, so I promise the fans I will do my best and I hope we can win a lot this season.”

Fulham has been home to several Portuguese players across recent years, including Fábio Carvalho who recently left for Liverpool. Signing such a high-calibre player will boost the hopes of Fulham fans betting at betway portugal that the club can consolidate their status in England’s top flight. Silva is joined on the coaching staff at the club by Fulham fan favourite and former Seleção winger Luís Boa Morte, while ex-Benfica forward Ivan Cavaleiro is also on the books. 

“Marco is important for me because he wanted me,” Palhinha says. “He trained me when I was in Sporting when I was young so he knows me. So it was one of the important parts of this deal and I’m glad and I hope we do fantastic work this season.

“When [Silva] was training the first team at Sporting, I played with the B team, I think I was 19 years old. He knows me and he saw my work at Sporting this year. I like the system that he plays here too, so there are many things good about my choice.

“Boa Morte? Of course I remember him. Boa Morte was also my coach in the B team of Sporting. So with him and Marco it’s two coaches I know. I have a good relationship with both. So it’s very good to be with him and I know he [Boa Morte] had a beautiful career with this club.

“It’s the first time I’m playing outside my country but Marco tells me the atmosphere inside the club is very very good, so I am very convinced that things will go very well. I spoke with Ivan Cavaleiro, who is also Portuguese, via message when the possibility of coming here happened. It’s good to have Portuguese teammates here, for the language, finding a home, the logistical things. I spoke with all of them and they were all important in my final decision.”

The move sees Palhinha become the latest Portuguese to test himself in English football, and with the World Cup on the horizon the Lisbon-native was asked whether his desire to represent his country at Qatar 2022 would be a source of extra motivation during the early stages of his adaptation in London.

“To play in the Premier League was my dream as a child. It was one of the biggest objectives I had in my life and I’m very glad and happy to be here in this club. It’s a good club and I want to have a very good season along with my teammates, because we know we have the quality to do this.

“I’m not thinking all the time about it but of course I want to play the World Cup with Portugal. I know my value. So it’s important playing in the Premier League, it’s different intensity. I know people in Portugal and the national coach will follow me and my journey at Fulham.”

By Sean Gillen

@SeanGillen9

Comments (5)

This comment was minimized by the moderator on the site

Well, he's going to the most competitive league but to one of the weakest clubs there so they'll probably be in the relegation battle most of the season so won't be loads of fun but heavy grinding. That being said, Palhinha will be a crucial part...

Well, he's going to the most competitive league but to one of the weakest clubs there so they'll probably be in the relegation battle most of the season so won't be loads of fun but heavy grinding. That being said, Palhinha will be a crucial part of the squad there since Fulham can't afford the luxury to buy bench warmers of a world class talent. Maybe this will be the move that transforms Palhinha from a promising player into a mature one.

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Samuel
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If he doesn't get hurt, he'll remember this year for the rest of his life.

DanDaSilva
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Marco Silva looks to be a better manager than Bruno Lage bringing in new players and trying to strengthen the squad. After Palhinha, Bruno Lage to lose David Carmo. Wolverhampton is waiting to see if Moutinho will sign another year and R Neves...

Marco Silva looks to be a better manager than Bruno Lage bringing in new players and trying to strengthen the squad. After Palhinha, Bruno Lage to lose David Carmo. Wolverhampton is waiting to see if Moutinho will sign another year and R Neves will not be sold. So we can see Wolves in the relegation zone.

It's a good move by Palhinha as Wolverhampton does not seem to have a plan and no direction, a ship without a navigator.

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Neville
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What am I reading here? Wolves in the relegation zone??

Thanks to Fosun Group investments, they are a solid mid-table contender. Even though Wolves have not been active in the transfer matket, I don't see them slipping down either. I see them as...

What am I reading here? Wolves in the relegation zone??

Thanks to Fosun Group investments, they are a solid mid-table contender. Even though Wolves have not been active in the transfer matket, I don't see them slipping down either. I see them as a stable team, to reach as high as the 8th place and not lower than the 12th place.

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Dhazer
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Happy to see Palhinha join the Premier League. It will better prepare him for the national team by playing against tougher competition on a weekly basis. Also he is moving over at a good age. Too many Portuguese players like Joao Felix at...

Happy to see Palhinha join the Premier League. It will better prepare him for the national team by playing against tougher competition on a weekly basis. Also he is moving over at a good age. Too many Portuguese players like Joao Felix at AM, Fabio at Wolves, ... move at too young an age and then struggle as they are not ready for that tougher competition or sit on the bench.

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John Senos
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