Rangers opinion: Should the Gers make a move for Stewart Downing?
The former Liverpool star has not been at his best since his return to Boro, only managing 10 goals over the last three seasons. However, despite that, Downing has been a consistent presence in the side.
This season alone, the 34 year old has played in every Championship game barring six, although a large majority of his appearances have come off the bench.
Furthermore, with manager Tony Pulis opting to use a back-three formation in recent games, it has further seen Downing’s chances drop down the ladder.
That’s probably why he has been linked with a move to the Scottish Premiership side Rangers, especially with the 34-year-old’s contract expiring at the end of the season. There have been no reports about an extension and thus, he will be free to leave his youth side at the end of the season (Teesside Live).
Rangers manager Steven Gerrard once played alongside Downing during their spell at Liverpool and believes that he could be an asset. However, despite the fact that Downing will be a free agent, the Rangers should target other players and more importantly, someone younger.
The 34-year-old will only grow older from here on in and given that he is a winger, Downing depends heavily on his agility to beat players. That has eluded him in recent weeks, with the Englishman even showing his lack of stamina.
That’s among many reasons why the Rangers shouldn’t target him but the most important one is because of the players Gerrard has at his disposal. The likes of Scott Arfield, Jamie Murphy, Glenn Middleton and even Eros Grezda have all done relatively well.
Furthermore, both Middleton and Grezda are 19 and 23 respectively, which means that a move for Downing will affect their future.
They are wingers with a rather impressive future and one that Steven Gerrard has to look towards protecting. Moreover, there are other areas that the club has to focus on.
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Stewart Downing is out of contract, but that doesn’t mean that Rangers have to make a move for the Englishman. As mentioned, Gerrard has to reinforce his team in other positions. Rangers would be wise to avoid signing Stewart Downing.