Okaka excited after joining Fulham

Fulham have completed the signing of Stefano Okaka on loan from Roma until the end of the season.

The Italy Under-21 striker completed a medical at Fulham's training ground last week and the club confirmed the signing in a statement on their website this morning.

The loan deal appeared to be in doubt two weeks ago when Okaka picked up an injury but Fulham manager Roy Hodgson stepped up his pursuit of the striker after Andy Johnson and Clint Dempsey both picked up knocks in recent weeks.

Bobby Zamora, who has only just recovered from a collarbone injury, led the line with Erik Nevland against Aston Villa on Saturday while inexperienced Swede David Elm is Hodgson's only other recognised striker after Diomansy Kamara left for Celtic this morning.

Okaka announced he was moving to London after scoring a cleverly backheeled winner in Roma's 2-1 win over Siena yesterday afternoon.

The 20 year old, who's full name is Stefano Okaka Chuka, came through the youth ranks at Roma and has made seven league appearances for Claudio Ranieri's side this term, all as a substitute.

He started both of this season's Europa League matches between the clubs and scored the winner at the Stadio Olimpico in early November.

The deal could be extended by 12 months if both parties agree and Okaka believes a loan spell in West London will be crucial for his development as a player.

"I have been with Roma for five years," said Okaka. "I have grown thanks to the advice of my team-mates.

"But to have a leap in quality, it is crucial for me to go to England and play in the Premier League.

"I hope I can return stronger than before.

"The loan deal expires in June but there is the option to remain there for a further year. We shall see."

The powerful striker has also had loan spells at Serie B sides Modena and Brescia over the last two years and could go into Hodgson's squad for tomorrow's match with Barclays Premier League bottom side Portsmouth.

Ranieri expects Okaka to return to Rome an improved player.

"He has been at Roma for five years and I believe the experience in England could mark a turning point in his career," the former Chelsea boss said.

"He can do a lot more and the Premier League will give us back a much stronger player."

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
musicBand's first new record for 20 years has some tough acts to follow
News
peopleAt least it's for a worthwhile cause
Voices
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
News
Liam Payne has attacked the media for reporting his tweet of support to Willie Robertson and the subsequent backlash from fans
peopleBut One Direction star insists he is not homophobic
Life and Style
healthFor Pure-O OCD sufferers this is a reality they live in
Life and Style
Sexual health charities have campaigned for the kits to be regulated
healthAmerican woman who did tells parents there is 'nothing to be afraid of'
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments