West Ham United have completed the signing of Middlesbrough’s Gary O’Neil for an undisclosed fee.
Boro agreed terms with The Hammers on Monday, and the midfielder has penned a two-and-a-half-year deal.
“I am really pleased to sign. It all happened very quickly. I played for Middlesbrough at the weekend and didn’t know anything was going to happen. It has all gathered pace since then,” O’Neil told West Ham’s official website.
“There was also a big rush to do it quickly when they realised I wasn’t cup-tied.
“I enjoyed my time at Middlesbrough, the fans and staff were really good but it has been a difficult time on the pitch. It is nice to be back in the Premier League and play at the top level, which everyone wants to do. I am London born so it is good to come home.
“It is great that the club have such a massive game to look forward to. I haven’t trained yet with the team so it is up to the manager of course if he wants to use me.
“I will take it one step at a time but it is a big game and it could be a case of straight in at the deep end if involved.
“I’ve watched the team a lot this season. I know Avram, Grovesy and Colesy from Portsmouth. It is a great side with top players but they just suffered from a tough start. I know we have enough quality to get out of it. I have been in a couple of relegation battles, including at Portsmouth, so hopefully that experience will help.
“It is always a bit nerve-wracking going to a new club but I should settle in quickly. I did my schoolboy stuff here for a couple of years when I was 13-14 and trained on a Tuesday and Thursday under Tony’s staff. It was quite good and it helped me a lot in my career before I went to Portsmouth.”