MICHAEL KIGHTLY has described his swift return to the Barclays Premier League with Stoke City as the “perfect move” . . . even though it was a wrench to leave Wolverhampton Wanderers after five years at Molineux.
The England Under-21 international winger finalised his transfer to the Potters on Wednesday to continue what has been a memorable three week period in his life after his partner gave birth to a baby daughter last month.
Therefore, it’s the start of an exciting new era for City’s latest signing as he faces up to changes on the home and playing front.
But he stated: “This is the perfect move for me in every sense because it has allowed me to stay in the Premier League, but it has also meant that I haven’t had to move home. That can only be a good thing in my current circumstances.
“Even though I’m originally from down south, I am very settled in Birmingham now and that is particularly important at a time like this with a family to think about. It takes me 35 minutes to get from home to Stoke, which is great.
“It’s been a momentous few weeks, what with the birth of my daughter and now this opportunity to make the move here.”
However, Kightly admits that he was “gutted” at having to leave Wolves and hopes the club’s supporters will understand his desire to stay in the top-flight of English football now that he has made the switch to the Potters.
“I have had so many ups and downs in my career that when an opportunity like this came along, I didn’t want to let it go,” he said.
“The supporters at Wolves were unbelievable to me in my time there and I can well imagine that they are disappointed with my decision.
“But I hope they would put themselves in my shoes and understand why I have made this decision. It is a short career in football and opportunities like this don’t come along too often, so I felt I just couldn’t turn this one down.
“I think I am ready for a new challenge after five years at Molineux and I want to play for as long as I can in the Premier League.”
He added: “I am really happy to be joining an established Premier League club; one that is clearly moving in the right direction.”