According to reports, Aston Villa and Steve Bruce are heavily considering a bid for former Villa man Stewart Downing. Downing has been told he is surplus to requirements on Teeside by new Middlesbrough boss Garry Monk following Boro’s relegation back into the Championship after a poor year in the Premier League.
Downing would command a fee, but it would be nothing like the £7m that Boro paid to bring the former England international. However, Downing is approaching 33 years of age and won’t get any younger - and might even have to reconsider his role. Downing starred as part of a young Villa team with an English spine, and was certainly a Villa favourite alongside James Milner and Ashley Young. He grabbed eleven goals and 14 assists playing for the Villa, but couldn’t replicate his form for Liverpool - and enjoyed the infamous zero goal, zero assist season after leaving Villa Park.
What could he offer? He’s a set piece specialist and a decent passer of the ball, but he’s lost his pace and won’t offer much on the wing. He’s certainly worth a punt, but not on Premier League wages. Instead of looking to sign Stewart Downing, Villa should try to find the next Stewart Downing - someone with gas in the tank!