England winger had been expecting to start the new season in the Reds’ lineup.
West Ham United’s new £6 million signing Stewart Downing has spoken of his total surprise at comments made by Liverpool head coach Brendan Rodgers as to why the Reds allowed the player to leave Anfield for Upton Park this week, reports the Daily Mail.
The England international made the move south after the Merseyside giants accepted an offer for his services from the Hammers, with Rodgers claiming that the wide man could not turn down the east London club’s “incredible deal”.
However, having now officially completed his move to Upton Park, the 29-year-old has totally contradicted the Northern Irishman’s version of events, claiming that Rodgers had told him that he wanted to keep him at Anfield, while also going on to say that he had actually taken a pay cut to leave the Reds.
“Obviously I’ve got a four-year contract but having the opportunity to play was the big thing,” said Downing.
“At my age I need to play and in World Cup year I need to be in with a chance. Maybe for the club it was an unbelievable offer but, I don’t know (about me).
“It happened so quick. One minute I was in the starting eleven for Liverpool and the next I was on my way to London.
“I was playing regularly, that’s why I was surprised to be told that a fee had been accepted. It is normally when you are not in the squad is why you leave.
“I was playing in Dublin with Liverpool for the friendly against Celtic and I thought I’d be starting the season with Liverpool.
“I spoke to Brendan just before the game and he said there’d been an offer accepted. He said he didn’t want me to leave but obviously the club had agreed for me to go so I just thought it was right for me.
“Then I got permission to speak to Sam, he had some good ideas for the team, the club. I just thought: ‘Yeah it feels right to go to West Ham.'”
Downing only moved to Liverpool in July 2011, having been brought to the club by previous manager Kenny Dalglish from Aston Villa for a whopping £20 million.
However, in the intervening two-year period, the winger registered just seven goals and 11 assists in his 91 matches in total in all competitions for the Reds, including only three goals and five assists in his 65 Premier League outings.