Downing joins Liverpool

Downing joins Liverpool

England winger arrives at Anfield for an undisclosed fee

Liverpool have confirmed the signing of Stewart Downing on a ‘long-term contract’ from Aston Villa for an undisclosed fee.

The 26-year-old, who has been capped 27 times by England, becomes Kenny Dalglish’s fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Alexander Doni.

Villa confirmed earlier this week that Downing had submitted a formal transfer request and he travelled to Liverpool to discuss terms and complete a medical before signing.

Downing, who moved to Villa park for around £10million two years ago, had been a prime summer target of Dalglish, who saw bids of £12m and £15m rejected before an agreement for an undisclosed fee, believed to be in the region of £20m, was struck.

Downing made it clear only last month, when on England duty, that he would not sign an extension with Villa, effectively forcing them to listen to offers.


Arsenal were reported last weekend to have joined the competition for his signature but Liverpool were always the front-runners, according to the player himself.

“It’s a great feeling and I’m very happy to be here. It’s been a long time coming and I’ve had to wait a few weeks, but I’m really pleased to be here,” he told Liverpool’s official website.

“With the tradition, the manager and the players they have here, there was a big temptation to come here and once I knew of their interest, there was only one place I wanted to go.

“It will be a great feeling to run out at Anfield. It’s always nice to come and play here. The atmosphere is always great and the fans are brilliant.

“When I wanted to come to Liverpool, it was the first thing I thought of – playing at Anfield in front of those great fans. I’m really looking forward to it.”

The idea of winning silverware on a regular basis also appealed to Downing, as he said: “It would be nice to win something. I’m sure that’s the same objective for everyone, not just me personally.

Long negotiations

“My aim is to be in the team, to play well and give something back because the manager has pushed the boat out to get me here, so hopefully I can give him something back.

“Getting a few goals and a few assists for the lads up front, that’s what I’m hoping for.”

Liverpool director of football Damien Comolli said: “I am very pleased. It has been a long process and long negotiations, but we have reached an agreement with Aston Villa and the player has signed for us.

“We are delighted. It’s difficult to say he was our No.1 target because all of our targets are our No.1 target.

“We did not prioritise on who we wanted to sign first, but we needed that pace and wide player that can bring us something extra, which we did not have in the squad.

“He has the right mentality, the right attitude and was absolutely committed to coming to us, so we are delighted.”