Alvaro Negredo has hinted that he regrets leaving Manchester City for Valencia ahead of his first return to the Etihad Stadium since his departure.
The striker, currently on a season-long loan at Middlesbrough from the La Liga side, is set to face his former side two-and-a-half years after he left to move back to Spain.
However, despite insisting he has "nothing to prove" ahead of Saturday's clash with the Citizens, the Boro frontman speculated that he had made an error in judgement over upping sticks from Manchester in an interview with the Sun newspaper.
Negredo said: “When I took the decision to leave the club in 2014, at the time, it was taken for the right reasons. But who knows? Who knows, if I had stayed at City, things might have been different to how they transpired at Valencia.
“There are people at City that I miss. I have some good friends there, both on and off the field. I still keep in touch with some of them on the phone, so it will be nice to see them – players like Pablo Zabaleta, Sergio Aguero, David Silva.
“We went through a lot together – winning the league title and the Capital One Cup that season. That was something special.
“So 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.”
Negredo plundered 23 goals in 49 appearances during his solitary season with Man City, as well as picking up the two pieces of silverware that he mentioned, but the 31-year-old now harbours ambitions of finding the goals to keep current team Middlesbrough in the top flight of English football.
However, the marksman has only found the back of the net once in 10 games so far for Aitor Karanka's men amid some criticism from fans and critics alike.
Negredo, though, added that he is remaining confident about locating his best form in a Middlesbrough shirt, and vowed to repay the faith shown in him by the Teesiders after his ill-fated spell at Valencia.
He said: "I’m convinced I can regain my form. 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."
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