Arsenal Transfer Rumour: Stewart Downing to Join Gunners in £15 Million Deal?
"Downing Hijack" reports the Daily Mail, somewhat dramatically.
With news that Manchester City are on the brink of sealing a £25 million move for Samir Nasri and ongoing rumours surrounding Cesc Fabregas's future at the club, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is anxious to appease fans and rebuild his midfield quickly.
And the 61-year-old Frenchman has now identified England international winger Stewart Downing as a player who can create and score goals in Nasri's absence.
Although the 26-year-old former Middlesbrough left-winger has failed to score a goal in 26 international appearances, his stock has steadily risen on the back of his improving output in the Premier League.
Downing scored 8 goals in 44 matches in all competitions last season and for larger parts of the season outshone Ashley Young, who has already moved to Manchester United for £20 million.
Although Wenger has identified a lack of height and physicality throughout his team as one of the most important reasons for their inconsistent league form and inability to finish teams off, perhaps it his squad's youth and lack of Premier League experience which fans are now beginning to bemoan.
Nine years of Premier League experience and more than 250 matches under his belt, Downing fits the profile of players Arsenal should be looking at as he will guarantee a certain level of performance and is a player who can not only create and score important goals, but who can also be a role model to the likes of Jack Wilshere and Kieran Gibbs, who are just breaking into the England set-up.
It is thought a £15 million bid to Aston Villa is imminent.
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