Darren Randolph: Joe Hart arrival prompted Middlesbrough switch

Darren Randolph
Darren Randolph has played 22 times for the Republic of Ireland

New Middlesbrough keeper Darren Randolph says the arrival of Joe Hart prompted him to leave West Ham for his World Cup ambitions.

The Republic of Ireland international, 30, spoke with Hammers boss Slaven Bilic, who confirmed Hart would be first choice at London Stadium.

Randolph joined Boro for £5m and is likely to be first-choice goalkeeper at the Championship club.

"I wasn't going to hang around and warm the bench," Randolph told BBC Tees.

"It's a World Cup year, the Republic of Ireland have a good position in the group and if I have any kind of dreams to play in the World Cup then I need to be playing games."

Randolph made 22 appearances at West Ham last season while sharing duties with Spanish goalkeeper Adrian, but made himself a prominent fixture in Martin O'Neill's plans for the Republic with nine international outings.

"It wouldn't have happened so often if I stayed at West Ham as it was made clear, so I wasn't going to just sit on the bench and take up a place and possibly miss out on chance to playing at a World Cup," he added.

"I had to do what that was best for me and that happens in football so I had to leave."

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