Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo seems to have rediscovered his place in football at Middlesbrough, even if his goal tally is not hitting the heights that it was at Sevilla or Manchester City – where he returns with his new club this weekend.
Two-and-a-half years after leaving the Etihad Stadium, he comes back hoping to harm his former club’s chances of lifting the Premier League trophy again (something he managed to do before deciding to leave in 2014).
"I left for the right reasons"
“When I took the decision to leave the club in 2014, at the time, it was taken for the right reasons,” Negredo told The Sun. “But who knows? Who knows, if I had stayed at City, things might have been different to how they transpired at Valencia.”
Having scored only one goal since arriving back at the Premier League this summer, Negredo says he doesn’t feel like he has anything to prove as he prepares to return to Manchester City.
“I’ve got some really good memories at City and I’m looking forward to going back there very much. I don’t feel like I have anything to prove. I am very confident that I gave my absolute best when I was there.”
After arriving in Manchester for a fee of £16.4million from Sevilla in July 2013, “The Beast” initially lived up to his nickname, scoring 23 goals in just six months.
"Going back to Spain was a mistake"
However, Negredo failed to find the net after January that season, and despite a League and Cup double, he transferred to Valencia the following summer. Negredo now recognizes that that could have been an error.
“I do think I made a mistake to go back to Spain when I was doing things well in the Premier League. But thankfully now I’ve been given the chance to come back and start this other chapter here in England again.”
Although Negredo may not look as formidable now as he was in his early days at City (his only Boro goal so far came on the opening day against Stoke), the 27-year old says he’s sure he will get back to his best.
"I’m convinced I can regain my form”
"I’m convinced I can regain my form,” he said. “I have had two seasons where I have not shown my best.
“So you have to be realistic and I am very grateful that Middlesbrough have given me the chance to start again and improve. England is a league I’ve always enjoyed and I want to show that better version of myself that you saw seasons ago."