Stewart Downing to return to Middlesbrough

Stewart Downing began his career with Middlesbrough, playing with his boyhood club for nine years. After spells at Aston Villa, Liverpool and West Ham, Downing is now set to wear the Middlesbrough kit for the first time since 2009.

The 30-year-old winger originally left Middlesbrough after their relegation in 2009. Now the Englishman is set to play in the Championship division after Middlesbrough’s loss to Norwich City in the Championship playoff in May.

West Ham initially gave Downing permission to speak to his former club, and now he is reported to be having a medical on Thursday, after which he will join his new, yet old club.

Downing departs the Hammers after two seasons and 69 Premier League appearances. He was in fine form this past campaign when deployed in a central role, and even finished second for his side in league goals with six, only behind Diafra Sakho’s 10.

Downing has been capped by England 35 times in his career, although he has not made an appearance since before Euro 2012. He was, however, included in the squad for November 2014 friendlies after displaying fine form for West Ham. He will hope to see that form appear again with his boyhood club.