When people hear the name ‘Downing’ they often think back to his days when he burst onto the premier league scene with Middlesbrough, taking on the talisman role in a team that dropped down into the second tier of English football.
Following the relegation, Downing signed a four-year contract with Aston Villa, becoming Martin O’Neill’s first signing of the 2009 summer transfer window for a fee of £10 million with an extra £2 million to be paid depending on appearances.
Downing’s return to action saw him returning to his preferred left wing role, with James Milner moving to central midfield for Villa. His second season with Aston Villa has been a much improved one, he scored the first premier league goal of the season against West Ham on the 14th August, before going on to net 8 goals this season for Villa.
Having what many viewed as a season to settle into the Aston Villa set up, Downing has truly gone on to shine during the 2010-2011 season netting the player of the season award at Villa Park. His fine league for has seen his International career, which seemed to have ended before it ever really got started, to be back on track. He was chosen again by Capello to replace Aaron Lennon for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Montenegro on the 12th October 2010 as well as now being recalled to the England squad for the Euro 2012 qualifiers.
But in the pond that is football, there are always bigger fish looking to pick off and take from the smaller ones.
Such is the case as both Arsenal and Liverpool are rumoured to be fond admirers of the skilful left winger. So it wouldn’t be a massive surprise if Downing is seen putting on a shirt other than the claret and blue of Aston Villa next season, but the question still remains, is there yet more to come from the Middlesbrough born winger.
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