I'm very happy about this. I understand there are people with concerns, whether it be over the fee or that they haven't seen much of Downing or the fact he's been playing for midtable clubs throughout his career. And it takes more than people posting on the internet to assuage those concerns (as it should). People need to see him doing the business here to get rid of those concerns.
I'm really confident, moreso than with any other of our signings so far that it'll be very easy to see what he brings to us straight away. The fee is substantial, but if you look at it it has very much become the going rate for England internationals. And that's also worth pointing out that he's been consistently picked for the England side by different managers despite playing for mid-table teams and being an unfashionable choice amongst fans.
I don't profess to have seen loads of him. Obviously against us (and let's face it, he always causes us problems) and maybe 3 or 4 other times a season. But when you think how long he's been around I think that's enough to make a reasonable judgement. I understand it's unfashionable to rate Stuart Downing, but that's something else that makes me happy he's joined us, because in a year's time I doubt it will be.