“I’m calm and I like to have the ball and build the game from the back,” said new West Ham signing Goncalo Cardoso. Photo: @WestHamUtd/Twitter

LONDON – West Ham United have signed Portuguese defender Goncalo Cardoso from Boavista on a five-year deal with the option of another year, the Premier League club announced on Wednesday.

The fee was undisclosed, but British media said West Ham paid £2.75 million for the highly-rated 18-year-old, who was part of Portugal’s side that finished runners-up to Spain in the European under-19 championship this year.

“I’m excited... it’s a dream come true. I always dreamt of coming to England, and I’m here at this big, historic club, so I’m very happy,” Cardoso told the London club’s website.

“I’m an aggressive player, a bit different on the pitch than off it.

“I’m calm and I like to have the ball and build the game from the back. I’m here... to help the team reach their goals.”

Cardoso joined Boavista aged 16 and made his senior debut in October.

He played 15 league matches last season as the club finished eighth in the Primeira Division.

The Portuguese is West Ham’s fifth new arrival of the close season, following record signing Sebastian Haller, Pablo Fornals, David Martin and Roberto.

West Ham, who finished 10th last season, host champions Manchester City in their opener on Saturday.