Stewart Downing believes that his move to Liverpool can make him an England regular.
A few eyebrows were raised when L Kenny Dalglish paid Aston Villa a reported £20m for his services earlier this summer but his initial performances for his new club have suggested that it is money well spent. At 27 years of age, Downing is in the prime of his career and having previously made the transition from Middlesbrough to Villa and adjusted to the expectation, there seems to be no reason why he cannot do so agin on Merseyside.
Downing has been a regular member of recent England squads but he is yet to nail down a place in the starting XI with the likes of Ashley Young, James Milner, Aaron Lennon, Theo Walcott and Adam Johnson all competing for two wide berths. However, the man in question feels that by shining for Liverpool he can attract the attention of Fabio Capello.
“I certainly feel more confident as a player,” Downing told a press conference at the England training camp. “The team at Liverpool are playing well and I’m happy with my form at the minute. The fact that the manager put a lot of faith in me, spending that amount of money on me, does give me a lot of confidence.
“As soon as I went to Liverpool I felt settled at a great club. You’ve always got to back yourself to go further, to take the opportunity when you’re given it. And all players want to play at the highest level. It’s the clubs like United and Liverpool that everyone wants to play for, and winning trophies with big clubs is what football is all about.”
He added: “Now my big aim is to do well for Liverpool and prove to Fabio that I’m good enough not only to be in the squad, but in his team. I’ve got myself back in the squad, but I don’t want just to be making up the numbers. I want to be playing.
There’s a major championships coming up at the end of the season and to get in that party will be difficult because there are a lot of wingers playing for places. But I’ve got to be on form and playing well to give myself a chance.”