Just a few days ago, Liverpool confirmed via their official website that they had reached an agreement with Aston Villa to acquire the services of 26-year-old English midfielder Stewart Downing. That deal has today been confirmed, after he passed a medical and agreed personal terms withe club.
The move comes on the back of a superb season for the Englishman, in which he was hailed by fans as the 'Aston Villa Player of The Season' ahead of new Manchester United signing Ashley Young.
But many of you may be wondering, who is Stewart Downing, and what can he bring to the Liverpool squad?
To answer your questions, here's a guide to the Reds' £20 million winger, Stewart Downing.
1. Born in Middlesbrough on 22 July 1984
2. Played his first league game for Middlesbrough on 24 April 2002 in an away game at Ipswich Town.
3. Since August 2004, Downing has created 421 chances in the EPL, a number only beaten by four players—Lampard, Fabregas, Gerrard and Giggs.
4. Has averaged 34.4 appearances over the past five Premier League seasons.
5. Over the past three seasons, he has completed more crosses than any other player in the EPL.
Growing up in Middlesbrough's Pallister estate, Downing has always naturally supported Boro since a very young age. He joined the club as a schoolboy and became one of the most promising young footballers at the club's academy. He made his first team debut on 24 April 2002 in an away league fixture at Ipswich Town, fulfilling a boyhood dream.
The two seasons that followed were to be the most frustrating of his career, only making three appearances in each due to the fine form of left-midfielder Bolo Zenden. In 2003 he was sent out on loan to Sunderland. When he returned, an injury crisis at the Riverside Stadium meant that he was able to break in to the first team.
In 2004-2005 Downing scored six goals in 49 appearances, drawing the attention of many with an array of impressive performances. In February 2005 he was rewarded, making his international debut in England's friendly clash against the Netherlands.
The following season was a major disappointment for Downing, spending five months on the sideline due to a devastating knee injury. He played on at Middlesbrough, becoming the second longest serving player in the club's history.
In 2009, Downing made a £10 million move to Aston Villa, following a disappointing season at Boro in which the club were relegated. He went on to make 63 appearances at Villa Park, scoring nine goals before he became Liverpool's third major signing of this year's summer transfer window after completing a £20 million transfer.
1. Good crosser—creates a lot of chances.
2. Good touch, very good at cutting inside.
1. Weak right foot despite having played right wing on the odd occasion.
2. Defensively poor.
It's fairly obvious, Downing will be mostly deployed at left-wing for the Reds but it has been suggested that he could indeed play a left-wing-back position as pictured here.
The other option is right-wing but I have a feeling that that could be a position occupied by new signing Jordan Henderson.
If you have any thoughts on where Downing should play or how you think Liverpool may line-up this season be sure to leave a comment.