Stewart Downing hopes to make his West Ham United debut on Saturday.
The England international has ended two disappointing years at Liverpool to secure a move to the Upton Park club, who are thought to have paid around £5million for his signature. Having featured for the Reds in their pre-season programme, and the winger believes this will stand him in good stead when the Premier League campaign begins.
Malky Mackay and his top-flight new-boys Cardiff City visit the East London club at the weekend, and Downing has wasted no time in telling his new manager Sam Allardyce that he is ready to face the Bluebirds. Should he make the line-up, he is likely to be tasked with supplying the ammunition for his former Anfield pal Andy Carroll.
“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,” Downing told the club’s website. “I’m ready and I’m fit. 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, who has 34 caps for his country, is the fifth new addition to the West Ham squad, along with Carroll, Razvan Rat, Adrian and Danny Whitehead. Allardyce has also been linked with former fans’ favourite Scott Parker, who looks to be on borrowed time at Tottenham Hotspur, but Queens Park Rangers are also interested in the midfielder.