Tuesday 13 August 2013
West Ham United have confirmed the signing of winger Steward Downing from Liverpool.
The 29-year-old, who has won 34 caps for England, has agreed a four-year deal after moving to East London for an undisclosed fee. Downing is West Ham's fifth signing of the summer and will be available for their opening match of the new Barclays Premier League season against Cardiff City on 17 August.
"I'm really excited and hoping to play a part on Saturday"
"I'm very excited," Downing told the club's 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. It's all happened quickly, but I'm really excited and hoping to play a part on Saturday."
Downing came through the Middlesbrough Academy, making 181 top-flight appearances for the club, winning the League Cup and reaching the UEFA Cup final before moving to Aston Villa in 2009.
He spent two years in the Midlands before he was signed by Liverpool in 2011. In his two seasons at Anfield, he made 65 Premier League appearances, scoring three goals, while he produced a man-of-the-match display as Liverpool won the Carling Cup final in 2012.
Striker Matej Vydra has signed for West Bromwich Albion on a season-long loan from Udinese.
The 21-year-old, who has seven caps for the Czech Republic, had a superb season on loan at Watford last season, scoring 22 goals to help the club reach the Championship play-off final. His performances earned him the Championship Player of the Year award while he was also named in the PFA Championship Team of the Year.
"We believe he's got the qualities to score goals at a higher level"
"I'm delighted to welcome Matej to the club," West Brom head coach Steve Clarke told the club's website. "He had a really good year with Watford and we believe he's got the qualities to score goals at a higher level. Hopefully, he'll show that this year with us.
"We had Matej watched throughout last season. As well as some excellent scouting reports, we had some really good feedback from within Watford about Matej as both a player and person.
"I've said previously we're a bit light in the forward areas and Matej will increase competition for places. He's another good quality striker to add to the other three senior forwards we have here."
Vydra is with the Czech Republic squad for Wednesday's friendly against Hungary and will train with his West Brom team-mates ahead of the first match of the season against Southampton on Saturday.
Crystal Palace have completed the signing of Arsenal striker Marouane Chamakh for an undisclosed fee.
The 29-year-old has signed a one-year contract after completing a medical and will wear the No 29 shirt for the new campaign.
Chamakh joined Arsenal in 2010 from Bordeaux and made 40 Barclays Premier League appearances for the club, scoring eight goals, while he had a loan spell with West Ham United last season.
He is the third striker signing by newly promoted Palace this summer, after the arrival of Dwight Gayle and the re-siging of Kevin Phillips.
Ian Holloway's side open their League campaign at home to Tottenham Hotspur on 18 August.