The Portuguese winger arrived at The Hawthorns back in August, signing a season-long loan. But despite providing an assist on his debut in the League Cup an injury meant he did not appear in the Premier League until December.
Just six further top flight appearances followed, along with a 23-minute cameo in the FA Cup tie with Gateshead during which he set up two of West Brom’s seven goals.
Varela was as much a victim of a change of manager as he was with injuries, with Tony Pulis replacing Alan Irvine and having his own idea as to which players worked and which did not.
When Varela first arrived in England Irvine told the BBC, “He is a fantastic addition to our squad. He’s got pace, power, gets his fair share of goals and is also a creator of chances.”
But in January Varela’s loan was cancelled by mutual consent and he headed to Italian side Parma, where he enjoyed an injury-free spell, making 20 appearances and scoring three goals in the process.
One wonders what might have happened if Varela had stayed fit during his time in England; after all, he showed, albeit briefly, that he could both score and create for West Brom and he is clearly rated by his parent-club.
Still, West Brom ultimately did okay without him and Porto are now set to benefit from the player for the long term after tying him down for another three years.