Forgotten Liverpool man joins Championship club after four months as a free agent

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A former Liverpool player has signed for a struggling Championship side on a short-term deal

Former Liverpool defender Daniel Ayala has signed for Championship side Rotherham United on a short-term deal after leaving Blackburn Rovers at the end of last season. The South Yorkshire side were granted permission to sign the ex-Reds defender, who has been a free agent for four months, after a season-ending injury to Andre Green.

Ayala joined Liverpool’s academy in 2007 as he signed his first professional contract with the Reds and made his senior debut in a Premier League clash with Tottenham Hotspur in August 2009. He started his youth career with Sevilla but was snapped up by the Reds after rejecting a professional deal with the La Liga club.

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However, he was unable to establish himself at Anfield, and made just 11 appearances before joining Norwich City in 2011. He signed for Middlesbrough in 2014 and enjoyed a successful time at the Riverside Stadium, earning promotion from the Championship in 2016.

He made 216 appearances for Boro before joining Blackburn Rovers in 2020 but was released after three years at Ewood Park and had remained without a club throughout the summer, with his move to Rotherham ending his free agent status.

Speaking about the move, Ayala said: “I have been without a team for about four months, so it has been hard to not have a team and train on my own. I am just delighted to be here. I wanted to stay in the Championship, I am really happy that Rotherham came at this time so hopefully I can play for another year in the Championship.

“It was a great first day, there are a few players here who I have played with and against over the years. When we played Rotherham last season with Blackburn, we lost 4-0. I could see it was a group of honest lads, who all wanted to fight for the shirt and do everything to get the three points. I will always give 100 per cent for the team I am playing for, so I am excited to start.”

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