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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 13:42 UK

Crouch seals 11m Portsmouth move

Pompey manager Harry Redknapp (left) and new signing Peter Crouch
Crouch (right) scored 40 goals in 135 appearances for former club Liverpool

Peter Crouch has completed his move to Portsmouth from Liverpool in a deal that could be worth up to 11m.

The 27-year-old returns to Pompey six years after leaving and will work with boss Harry Redknapp for the third time in his career.

Crouch said: "It's fantastic to be back. I believe Harry gets the best out of me and think the best years of my career can be here."

The England striker has signed a four-year contract at Fratton Park.

Crouch added: "This club is going places and they can match my ambitions.

"The chance of regular first team football was part of the appeal. I know I'll have to work hard to prove myself in training, but I believe my best years are in front of me.

Crouch on his return to Pompey

"I had a fantastic three years at Liverpool and I would not change it for the world. I am privileged to have played for such a top club.

"Towards the end I did not get as many games as I would have liked but I will only take good memories away.

"In no way am I stepping down, I feel I am joining a club that is going places with a new stadium, a new training ground and some very good players."

Redknapp added: "Bringing a player like Peter here shows how far we have come and how far we can go. I'm delighted he's back.

"I never expected to see him back here. He went off to Liverpool and did a fantastic job in my opinion and I'm looking forward to seeing him and Jermain Defoe up front - a big one and a little one - and we've got other good forwards here."

606: DEBATE

The forward was also praised for his contribution to the Merseyside club by Reds manager Rafael Benitez.

"He is a good professional and we would have wanted him to stay," he said.

"We offered him a new contract but sometimes you have to understand the player. He wanted to play a lot more."

The Spaniard added: "With Fernando Torres now first choice, playing more was always going to be difficult.

Crouch was my main target - Redknapp

"I can understand Peter's situation but he did very well for this club and we always supported him when people doubted the decision to bring him to Anfield."

Liverpool are expected to initially receive in the region of 9m for Crouch, who joined the club from Southampton in July 2005 but only started nine Premier League games last term.

Benitez initially said he would consider offers for Crouch in the region of 15m but had to scale back his demands for a player who only had a year left on his contract.

Crouch scored 40 goals in 135 appearances for Liverpool but struggled to hold down a regular first-team place in recent times.

He was relegated behind Torres, who scored 33 goals for the Reds after signing from Atletico Madrid last summer.

However, he was a popular figure with Liverpool fans and still managed to net 11 goals as he was mainly used as a substitute by Benitez.

Crouch started his career as a trainee at Tottenham before moves to QPR, Portsmouth, Aston Villa, Norwich - where he had a spell on loan - Southampton and Liverpool.




see also
Benitez rules out move for Villa
10 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Portsmouth take Babayaro on trial
09 Jul 08 |  Portsmouth
Liverpool secure deal for Dossena
04 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Reds pay tribute to exiting Riise
19 Jun 08 |  Liverpool
Benitez puts 15m tag on Crouch
08 May 08 |  Premier League
Crouch makes Reds wait over deal
07 Apr 08 |  Liverpool
Chelsea loan Sahar to Portsmouth
01 Jul 08 |  Portsmouth
Portsmouth land Reading's Little
20 Jun 08 |  Portsmouth


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