Three reasons why Aston Villa should bring PL stalwart back to the Midlands (not Barry)
COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Aston Villa should look at the possibility of bringing current Middlesbrough wideman Stewart Downing back to the club in the summer as they eye promotion next season.
Downing, 32, was reportedly involved in a training ground argument with manager Aitor Karanka as Sky Sports claimed he had questioned why he was left out of the squad in the previous defeat against Stoke.
Downing has also been used sparingly for Boro this season with just two starts from the club’s last eight games.
With the experienced player potentially looking for a way out of the Riverside Stadium after this recent falling out, here Football Insider have looked at three reasons why Aston Villa should re-sign the wide ace.
Premier League experience
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Aston Villa have signed 15 senior players since their relegation from England’s top flight with eight of them possessing no experience of the Premier League.
Now, when the famous Midlands club do make their return they will need more players who know what it takes to remain in the division.
Many have been keen for Gareth Barry to make his return to the side, but fellow Premier League stalwart Downing could be another option.
The 35-time capped England international has played in a massive 397 top flight matches during his career, bringing a return of 37 goals and 47 assists and he could be key to helping Villa return.
Downing lasted two years at Villa, initially joining for a £10million fee from Middlesbrough in 2009 before heading to Liverpool for a mega £20million in 2011.
During his time at the club he helped the famous side finish in sixth and ninth place before a 16th position in his final season under Alex McLeish.
Downing was part of a successful Aston Villa team for the most part, while bringing a return of 11 goals and 14 appearances from his 79 appearances.
Fans have felt that a number of players coming in, in recent times have not known what is expected of the club, but Downing certainly does.
Lack of a natural left-winger in the team
In recent matches Steve Bruce has fielded a 4-2-3-1 formation with natural left-back Jordan Amavi playing in the left-wing role.
Now, in his three matches of playing in the position Amavi has failed to return a goal or an assist against Rotherham, Huddersfield or Sheffield Wednesday.
The team have still managed to win two of those three fixtures, but the lack of service to Jonathan Kodjia could become telling if the club wants to progress.
Downing has been applauded throughout his career for his excellent service and Kodjia or Scott Hogan could score bucket loads from his crosses.
In other Aston Villa transfer news, this proven Premier League wants to join the club.