West Ham confirm capture of Liverpool’s Downing

West Ham United have completed the signing of Liverpool winger Stewart Downing on a four-year contract for a fee of around £5m, Sky Sports is reporting.

The 29-year-old becomes Sam Allardyce’s fifth summer signing, joining former Liverpool teammate Andy Carroll, experienced Romanian left-back Razvan Rat, goalkeeper Adrien, signed from Real Betis, and young striker Danny Whitehead.

Downing adds to the competition for a starting place in the wide positions with Matt Jarvis, Ricardo Vaz Te, and another ex-Liverpool colleague, Joe Cole, also fighting for a starting berth.

The deal represents a sizeable loss for the Reds, having signed Downing from Aston Villa for a fee in the region of £20m in the summer of 2011 under Kenny Dalglish. He went on to make 91 appearances for Liverpool, but often underperformed, with just seven goals scored during that time.

In the early stages of last season, manager Brendan Rodgers told Downing that he was free to leave, but then made him a first-team regular, sometimes playing at left-back, in the absence of regular incumbent Jose Enrique.

And Downing, who has 34 England caps, said of his move to East London: “I’m very excited. 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.

It’s all happened quickly, but I’m really excited and hoping to play a part on Saturday.

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