West Ham’s Downing: I’d have liked more games with Carroll at Liverpool

West Ham's new signing Stewart Downing admits he would have liked to have lined up alongside Andy Carroll more at Liverpool

Andy Carroll Stewart Downing
Andy Carroll and his new West Ham team-mate Stewart Downing Photo: Twitter/Andy Carroll

Stewart Downing says he is relishing the chance to play alongside his former Liverpool team-mate Andy Carroll after moving to West Ham United.

The pair were signed by former Reds manager Kenny Dalglish in 2011, with the England winger arriving at Anfield in a £20m deal six months after the Scot splashed out £35m on the then Newcastle United striker.

However, Carroll and Downing both struggled to justify their inflated fees and became symbols of a disastrous opening foray into the transfer market by new Liverpool owners Fenway Sports Group, headed by John W Henry.

The 24-year-old Hammers striker sealed a permanent £15.5m move to Upton Park this summer after impressing during a season-long loan at the east London side last term, scoring seven goals in an injury-hit campaign.

And Downing, who secured a £5.5m switch to the Hammers on Tuesday, admits he would have liked to have played alongside his towering team-mate on a more regular basis during their season together at Anfield.

“I didn’t play with him as much as we would have liked but I am looking forward to it,” said Downing, who signed a four-year deal at West Ham.

“His strengths suit me, crossing and having someone in the box who will head it. We have got to get him fit first. He did well at the back end of last season.

“I know he is a favourite here so hopefully he can carry on his form.”

Downing revealed Carroll had quizzed the former Reds winger about a potential move to the Hammers when speculation first emerged suggesting the 29-year-old could join the striker at Upton Park.

And with Carroll and Downing good friends off the pitch, West Ham’s new signing is confident that the pair can strike up a fruitful relationship when lining up together in Sam Allardyce’s side.

“He asked me if I was coming. I am glad he is here. He is probably happy I am here. He is a friend. If you are friends off the pitch you generally do well on it,” he added.

“I am looking forward to the season. Get him fit and get us playing well and we have a chance of a good season.”

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