MIDDLESBROUGH new boy Lukas Jutkiewicz makes no secret of where he thinks his career is headed – and that is the Premier League.
The 22-year-old penned a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Riverside Stadium yesterday – arriving for an undisclosed fee – finally bringing to a close Tony Mowbray’s six-month pursuit of the Coventry City striker.
Jutkiewicz has rebuilt his reputation having failed to make the grade as a teenager with Premier League Everton, a successful loan spell at Motherwell prompting a permanent move to the Sky Blues in July, 2010.
But after an 18-month stay at the Ricoh Arena – during which he netted 18 times – the Southampton-born forward believes he is now at the club which can match his ambition.
“It’s a club which is going places and I want to be part of that,” he said.
“It’s a massive club and has that recent history of being in the Premier League – that’s where I want to be myself. The length of deal they’ve given me shows a massive amount of faith.
“I want to be here long term and I want to be part of that vision they have for moving forward. Apart from the Coventry spell, I’ve been moved around all over the country and up to Scotland, so it’s nice to be able to set up home here.”
Jutkiewicz had been on the verge of a move to Teesside back in August but that fell through on deadline day.
Talks resumed this month and he was registered as a loan player in time for Saturday’s home game with Burnley, making his debut as a substitute during the 2-0 defeat.
And Jutkiewicz admits Mowbray’s determination to capture his signature played a major part in his decision to choose Boro ahead of other suitors.
“There was a possibility I might have come here a few months ago and I would have loved to,” he added. “It was important to feel wanted and their interest in August was a massive part in my decision.”
Jutkiewicz has already scored at the Riverside this season, stealing a late point for Coventry in the 1-1 draw back in August.
And he laughed: “I’ve already had a little bit of stick from the boys for that – they say they would be three points off top rather than five if I hadn’t scored.
“But the league is so tight that everyone in the top half has an eye on promotion and it will go down to the end.”