Nicolas Nkoulou believes Claudio Ranieri can help him improve and said he is excited about playing for Watford in the Premier League.

The defender signed as a free agent at the beginning of the week, with injuries leaving Watford short at the back for the time being.

After leaving Torino in the summer, the Cameroon international was available as a free agent and, following a conversation with Cristiano Giaretta, was quickly sold on the Hornets' project.

“I’m very happy to be here,” Nkoulou told the club website. “I’m going to discover a new league and club so I’m really excited about what’s in store.

“Not long ago I got a call from the director who told me they were interested in signing me and for me to represent the club. I didn’t have to think twice because I had a look at the players and the squad.

“The fact they have also signed an experienced manager, who can make me improve so much, made the decision even easier.”

With Francisco Sierralta and Christian Kabasele both out injured and William Troost-Ekong and Craig Cathcart away on international duty, Nkoulou is currently the only centre back in training with the rest of the team.

A flurry of difficult games are on the horizon, including a home tie against Liverpool next weekend, and he will need to be match ready sooner rather than later.

The defender said those kind of matches are why he wanted to play in this league.

“I came to the Premier League for huge matches,” he said. “Top teams are at this level, but I can’t foresee when my debut will come. We have staff here that will make the decisions, but I will be ready.

“I’m very happy and excited to play for them [the fans], especially because the fans are the core of football and this football club.

“I can’t wait to play for them and I know they will back the team from the first minute to the last because with them we can do better.”