The winger has finally made the switch back to Teeside
Middlesbrough have today confirmed the capture of Stewart Downing from West Ham United.
The wide midfielder was part of the Middlesbrough academy and played for the Boro first team between 2001-2009. After permanent spells at Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham, he has now returned to his hometown club.
Following a £5 million transfer from the Hammers, the 30-year old makes the drop from the Premier League to the Championship signing a four-year contract.
‘I always wanted to come back to this club’
When speaking to the official Middlesbrough club website, Downing said: “It’s great to be back home, I always said I wanted to come back to this club and I’m delighted the chance has now come; I didn’t put a time limit on it but now the circumstances are right.”
“There was a shout about me coming back here on loan when I was at Liverpool, but for one reason or another it didn’t happen. But now I’m here, and I’m absolutely buzzing,” revealed the former England international.
Downing has also admitted that Boro manager Aitor Karanka, chairman Steve Gibson and dreams of gaining promotion to the Premier League are also major factors in his comeback.
Despite winning the League Cup twice in his career, with Middlesbrough in 2004 and Liverpool in 2012, Downing believes achieving promotion to England’s top flight would be the ‘biggest achievement of his career’.
Boro boss gives his verdict
Middlesbrough gaffer Aitor Karanka also spoke to the club’s official website and he stated: “It’s an amazing signing for us. He’s more than just a player.”
He also added: “Nobody expected him to come here, but he wants to be here, and is completely committed to the club and the team. He is a very good person and I’m excited to work with him.”
Downing will now link up with his new teammates as pre-season begins to take shape.