Championship: Tomas Mejias Osorio eyes No.1 role at Middlesbrough
Tomas Mejias Osorio is looking forward to the challenge at Middlesbrough as he hopes to win the No.1 jersey.
By Graeme Bailey - Tweet me: @graemebailey
Last Updated: 14/02/14 12:59pm
Osorio's signature was only confirmed this week as Boro waited on the registration papers from FIFA to come through after a deal was agreed on deadline day to bring him in from Real Madrid.
Speaking to AS, the 25-year-old said: I am very happy, I have high hopes and wanted to start with this project. I have come to a big club and is a good choice sporting wise for me."
Osorio knows Boro boss Aitor Karanka from their time together at Real Madrid and admits he persuaded him to make the move.
"Aitor called me and conveyed his confidence and that was very important to me," he continued.
"I know him not only from Madrid, but also from the 2009 Mediterranean Games, when he was coach and we won."
He insists leaving the Spanish capital was a tough call to make and added: "Leaving Madrid is sad because I grew up there, but now is a new stage for me."
He admits that he has found it easier to settle on Teesside as there are a number of Spanish speakers around.
"There are three or four who speak Spanish. They are all very friendly. Woodgate can and there is also a Spaniard in Dani Ayala."
The 25-year-old is due to remain at Boro until the end of the season, but he insists he is not thinking about his future.
"I honestly do not think about that at this time. I think of the day. I have one year left on this contract with Real Madrid and we'll see.
"I just think of Middlesbrough. I want to grow, play and adapt to this new challenge."
Karanka has confirmed that Osorio and the returning Jason Steele will be competing for the No.1 jersey after Shay Given returns to Aston Villa later this month.
"People will think that because I know him it will be easy for him to get in the team once Shay goes back to Aston Villa, but that is not true," said Karanka.
"He needs to fight for his position on the training ground and he has the same opportunity as the other keepers.
"I hope he can be a No.1 for us one day because I have known him a long time. He is a very good keeper, but he needs to train and win the position. He has a very good future. He is the opposite of Shay.
"He is an unbelievable keeper with experience and Tomas is a young player and he needs to gain more experience and more confidence. He isn't playing at this moment, but he needs to train and fight for the position.
"Jason is better. He is getting stronger each day and he will play with the Under-21s soon to get his confidence and match fitness. It is good for me to have all the squad training with me and that includes Jason."
And despite Boro's co-operation agreement with rivals Atletico Madrid, Karanka admits he hopes he will continue to use his relationship with his former employers.
"I hope we can have more links with Real Madrid because they always have very good players. I have a good relationship with the people there and it's just one option for the future," Karanka added.
"I also have relationships with Chelsea and with a lot of other clubs. That is good for me and can only be good for the squad to bring in good young players."