Daniel Ayala ‘disappointed’ to leave Norwich City

Norwich City defender Dani Ayala admitted the lure of joining former two-time European Cup winners Nottingham Forest on a season-long loan softened the blow of his temporary Carrow Road exit.

The 21-year-old had hoped to play a major part in the Canaries' Premier League battle this campaign, but believes joining the ambitious Championship club can work in his favour.

'I am disappointed, because I wanted to play in the Premier League,' he said. 'But I know how big a club Forest is and I am pleased to be here now. Everyone knows Forest in Spain from what they achieved in Europe and winning the European Cup twice. I am really looking forward to getting started. I found out about three days ago that Norwich did not think I would play too much for them this season, so I thought it was best for me to go out on loan. That is what I am paid for.'

Ayala is no stranger to the Championship after previous loan spells at Hull and Forest's East Midlands rivals Derby while he was at Liverpool.

'I know what to expect in the Championship. I know it is going to be a difficult challenge,' he said. 'I like playing football. I am a Spanish player, so I am comfortable with the ball, but I've learned the physical side of things in England.

'I've been here for five years now since I started in Liverpool and then on loan at Hull and Derby – I was just 16 when I left so it was quite difficult to leave my family and friends and come to England.

'It was a big decision but I knew what I wanted to do and that was to play football. I've never had an regrets; to play for Liverpool at the time was one of the best things.'

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Ayala, speaking to Forest's official site, now wants an injury-free run after a knee and hamstring problems blighted his City career last season.

'I got a knee injury, which was disappointing to be almost the whole season out. I was out for a long time,' he said. 'I played some games and thought I did quite well. Now it is another season and they do not want me there, so I want to play some matches here and get started.'

I'm looking forward to meeting up with the lads. We have another friendly on Friday (against West Brom) and hopefully I can get a few minutes then.'