West Ham have announced the signing of Stewart Downing on a four-year deal after the winger completed his move from Premier League rivals Liverpool.
Downing joined the Reds in 2011 for £20m, and the sale demonstrates a monumental loss for the Anfield club in terms of resale value, with his switch to the Hammers costing around £6m.
Liverpool had already taken a £20m hit on the departure of striker Andy Carroll – who also joined the Hammers after spending last season on-loan in east London – after they signed him for a British record of £35m in the same year.
"I'm very excited," said Downing, who prefers to play on the left wing but spent a lot of time playing at left back for Liverpool last season.
He added on West Ham's official website: "It's a great opportunity for me being here, it's a great club and I'm really excited to get going.
"I'm ready and I'm fit for the first game against Cardiff City. I've played a decent few games for Liverpool in pre-season, so there will be no problems on that front."
Downing rose to fame during his time at Middlesbrough, making 234 appearances for the north-east club, and his ability to lay on a goal for his team-mates led to his England debut in 2005, having amounted 43 assists during his time with Boro as well as 22 goals.
He made the move to Aston Villa in 2009 after Middlesbrough were relegated from the Premier League, and his performances for the club saw Kenny Dalglish come calling, with the former Reds’ boss luring the England international to Merseyside.
Downing has struggled during his spell with the five-time European champions though, scoring seven goals in all competitions and taking over a season to get his league tally off the mark.
The 29-year0old dropped down the pecking order, and with youngster Raheem Sterling set to get more playing time this season as well as current boss Brendan Rodgers’ interest in Atletico Madrid forward Diego Costa, Downing was deemed surplus to requirements for this season.
He is hopeful his move to play under Sam Allardyce will boost his chances of being included in Roy Hodgson’s squad for next summer’s World Cup, though Downing has not been included in the England side since Roy Hodgson’s first game in charge in May 2012 – a 1-0 win over Norway.
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