West Ham signing Downing shocked at speedy Liverpool exit

Stewart Downing has expressed his shock at the speed with which he was allowed to leave Liverpool, Sky Sports has reported, as the West Ham new boy reveals he was told by manager Brendan Rodgers he was part of the first team at Anfield shortly before being sold to Sam Allardyce’s Hammers.

The newspaper adds that Downing took a pay cut in moving to Upton Park, and that the former Aston Villa winger disputes comments from Rodgers in which the manager suggested it was Downing’s choice to leave. Instead, Downing’s recollection of events has Rodgers telling him the clubs have agreed a fee, despite Downing earning a place in the first team last season.

I spoke to the manager and he said he wanted me to stay. So I’m disappointed that one minute I was staying and the next minute I’m gone,” Downing said. “It was a surprise because it happened so quick. One minute I was in the starting XI for Liverpool, and the next I was on my way to London.

I was playing in the team and playing regularly and that’s why I was surprised to be told that a fee had been accepted. It is normally when you are not playing, or you are not in the squad is why you leave.

Downing made 91 appearances for Liverpool, scoring seven goals, having played 79 times for Villa. He began his career at Middlesbrough, featuring more than 200 times for the Teesiders, and has 34 England caps to his name.

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