Stewart Downing has completed his move from Championship side Middlesbrough to Aston Villa of the EPL. The player has cost the Midlands club £12 million.
Downing has signed a four year contract after coming through a medical at Villa Park. He becomes manager Martin O’Neill’s first signing ahead of the 2009 / 2010 season.
Downing made 181 appearances for Boro, his home town club, following his debut in 2002. Despite getting injured in the last game of the season, coincidentally against Villa, his future has been the subject of much debate after Boro’s relegation.
Speaking on the Villa web site, Downing said:
I wanted to come as soon as I met Martin so I’m delighted it’s now sorted out.
As an outsider looking in, it was obvious Villa are a club on the up. I want to be part of that.
I want to play at next year’s World Cup so that’s my aim – to get back to full fitness, get back playing and get myself in the England team for the World Cup.
I loved the last World Cup, but I want to play a bigger part this time. I have to be with a good Premier League side if I want to do that.
I hope the fans understand that I’m ambitious and want to win things and this move gives me a chance of that. But I’ll always be a Boro fan.