Ex-Middlesbrough and Liverpool winger Stewart Downing reacts after Blackburn Rovers move
Blackburn Rovers have completed the signing of former Middlesbrough winger Stewart Downing on a one-year deal.
The 34-year-old will join Rovers on a free transfer after his Boro contract expired at the end of last season.
After coming through Boro’s academy, Downing went on to make 234 appearances during his first spell with his hometown club and played a key part in Boro’s run to the UEFA Cup final in 2006.
Following moves to Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham, Downing returned to Teesside in 2016 before helping Boro win promotion to the Premier League under Aitor Karanka.
The winger will now join up with former Boro boss Tony Mowbray at Ewood Park and could face his former club in the Championship next season.
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Downing had also been linked with Sunderland and Rangers since it was announced he would be leaving the Riverside.
The winger told the Blackburn’s website: "After the discussion with the manager this was the only place I wanted to come. "He's got really good ideas, a good way of playing, and I'm really excited. I'm glad it's done quite early as well.”
Downing played regularly for Boro at the start of last season but rarely featured for the Teessiders due to a clause in his contract which would have triggered an extra year if he played one more game.
Boro will face Blackburn in their second away game of the season on August 17, before the return fixture at the Riverside on Saturday February 1.