I was a bit surprised when I initially heard that there had been bids for Stewart Downing a few weeks ago or more. I thought it was all just paper talk and would not come to anything. After all, Downing had a great first half of the season, and although his form tailed off in the second half, that was largely down to Allardyce abandoning the successful diamond system and sticking Downing back out on the wing.
Even when we signed Payet I thought, we would still need a decent sized squad of players with the number of matches we have to play, and injuries, etc. When he is on form Downing can be the creative spark we need, and his left foot can be sublime. I personally think that Downing would thrive under Bilic, and I was therefore increasingly alarmed when these bids for his signature kept on coming, and then I read that we had accepted a bid from Middlesbro. Of course, this has not been confirmed by West Ham, and could just be more speculation from people supposedly “in the know”. I just hope that the club continue to see sense and keep Downing on the books, as I think they would regret it if they let him go.