Middlesbrough signing Hoyte: I had to quit Arsenal

Middlesbrough signing Justin Hoyte admits he had to quit Arsenal for the sake of his career.

The fullback said: "I was disappointed to lose my place last season and I knew that I would have to work very hard to get back in.

"All you concentrate on is playing as well as you can. I had no expectations of ever leaving Arsenal. But when Middlesbrough's offer came in I sat down with Arsene Wenger and we had a chat about the situation.

"I decided to come to Middlesbrough and have a look at the set-up and as soon as I came here I knew that the move was right for me.

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"I met Gareth Southgate and was absolutely delighted to hear what he had to say.

"His ambitions to take the club forward are impressive and I think he is going to be a very successful manager, so it is great to come here."

Hoyte already knew a few players at Middlesbrough, including his former Arsenal team-mate Jeremie Aliadiere - while he knows the North East well from a loan spell with Sunderland three years ago.

"I've been in touch with Jeremie every day and he has told me what Middlesbrough want to achieve," Hoyte added.

"He wants to be part of it and now I do too. I know a few of the other players from the England Under-21 squad, so I feel as though I have settled in already.

"It helps that I also know the North East. It's a nice part of the country and even though I'm a London boy I'm sure I can settle here and enjoy my football."

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