Okaka excited at Fulham chance

01 February 2010 12:17

Stefano Okaka is hoping his move to Fulham will help him develop as a player.

The striker has joined the London club on a six-month loan deal from Roma with an option to remain for a further season in England, and he is excited at the chance to move to Craven Cottage.

"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."

He added: "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."

Okaka stole the show in his last game for Roma by scoring a spectacular late winner in Sunday's 2-1 defeat of Siena.

But Roma coach Claudio Ranieri has no regrets over sanctioning Okaka's exit and hopes his time in London will benefit the Giallorossi in the long term.

"Stefano is a great lad," said Ranieri. "I have no regrets. He has been at Roma for five years and I believe the experience in England could mark a turning point in his career.

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

Okaka has made seven league appearances for Roma this season, all as a substitute. The 20-year-old is under contract with the Serie A club until June 2012.

Source: PA