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Downing: I was surprised Villa signed me injured

Stewart Downing admits he was surprised Aston Villa chose to sign him in the summer from Middlesbrough while recovering from toe surgery.

Downing is now on the verge of breaking into Villa's first team after an appearance last Saturday as a substitute at Burnley.

"I was surprised when I heard Villa had come in," said Downing. "The manager found out how long I'd be out for. He told me that even if it was until December, he would wait. When you are limping about, that's great to hear. And once he told me that, this was the only place I wanted to come.

"Villa's physio said he couldn't believe the medical I went through. Normally injured players are just sent back.

"I definitely want to repay the manager. For him to pay out £12m for a player on crutches was brilliant. It's a lot of pressure on him to do that. I can't wait to get started and do well for him."

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Tribal Football Staff

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