Hammers secure Swiss star Fernandes

Edimilson Fernandes


West Ham United are delighted to announce the signing of Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

The 20-year-old joins the Hammers from hometown club FC Sion, where he scored in the 2015 Swiss Cup final and featured regularly in the UEFA Europa League last season.

Despite his relative youth, Fernandes has made 66 first-team appearances for Sion, and is looking to make an immediate impact at London Stadium.

“I am really happy to be here at West Ham United,” said Fernandes, who was presented to the Claret and Blue Army ahead of the UEFA Europa League play-off round second-leg tie with Astra Giurgiu. “It is a new challenge for me and now it is down to me to work hard to become a top player.

“I am a player capable of getting the game going and adding excitement to the action on the pitch. I spoke to the manager [Slaven Bilic] and the conversation was very positive and I appreciate this opportunity.

“I had never been to this stadium before, but it is a really magnificent stadium and I will be working to my best to get to the top. It is a large stadium, I have also played at Anfield here in England, but this stadium is really impressive.”

Of Cape Verde and Portuguese descent, Fernandes started his career with FC Fully in Switzerland as a schoolboy. He is the cousin of former Manchester City and Switzerland midfielder Gelson Fernandes.

There, he was spotted by the Sion’s owner and president Christian Constantin, a former goalkeeper for Swiss side Lugano and renowned architect, and signed by the Super League club.

There, he has thrived in recent seasons, making his first-team debut against FC Zurich at the age of 17 years and two months in June 2013.

The 2014/15 season was Fernandes’ breakthrough campaign as he totalled 19 appearances and netted twice in three Swiss Cup ties as Sion defeated FC Basel 3-0 to win the competition for a 13th time.

Last season, still aged just 19, Fernandes featured 39 times in all competitions, including all eight UEFA Europa League ties as Sion finished second in a group behind Liverpool before being edged out 4-3 by Portuguese club Braga in the Round of 32.

Fernandes has been a regular for Sion again this term, starting all five Super League matches and helping his club to a 6-1 Swiss Cup win over Romontois.