Mustapha Carayol spoke of his delight at signing for Brighton & Hove Albion on loan until the end of the season and is already feeling at home in his new surroundings.
The 26-year-old is now eager to pull on a blue-and-white-striped shirt and reignite his career after recovering from a long-term knee injury.
He said, “I’m excited; I’ve not played a lot of football as you all know. I’ve been out for just over 12 months and have played a few under-21 games, but it’s not the same as playing first-team football.
“I just need to get over the next hurdle and get some game time. I’m from London, so I feel comfortable here and it’s more like home to me.
“There was talk about me going to a few clubs, but at the time I had spoken to the gaffer here and I’m good friends with his son as well and that helped.
“He told me that I would get the chance to play some football and as I’m from down south, it was a win-win situation really.”
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The Gambian-born winger has been mightily impressed by the facilities at the American Express Elite Football Centre and at the Amex and is already familiar with several players at the club.
“The training ground is amazing; we [Middlesbrough] came and played an under-21 game here and everything is in place for it to be a Premier League club.
“I’ve been to the stadium and it’s one of the best three grounds in the league, so it’s definitely a big club that’s destined to do big things in the near future.
“I’ve probably played against all of the players here. I’ve had a few tussles with Bruno in the past. I know Danny Pappoe in the under-21s, as me and him are really good friends. I also know Jeffrey Monakana and Kemy Agustien as well through one of the players that used to be at Middlesbrough.
“I trained here for the first time yesterday and all the boys made me feel really welcome.”
Carayol admits that he is unsure of his long-term future, whether that is at Middlesbrough or elsewhere and has not ruled out a permanent move to the south coast.
"At the moment we are speaking over a contract. I can't really comment more on that. If it happens it happens, if it doesn't it doesn't.
"I don't like to close any doors. I am here to impress the manager, because you never know. I want to do the best for the club and repay the faith he has put in me, because I've not played any football.
"He's taken the chance of bringing me in and trying to help the team, so I've got to try to repay it in any way I can.”