According to the latest reports from Gazette Live, Rangers are set to discuss a potential move with former England international Stewart Downing. The winger’s contract with Middlesbrough is set to expire soon, and he is going to be available on a free transfer. The Gers were even linked with Downing in the January transfer window, but nothing materialised at that point.
Downing is the former team-mate of Gerrard at both Liverpool and England. The winger is already 34, but he made 40 appearances for the Teessiders last season where they narrowly missed out on the sixth spot. Blackburn Rovers and Sheffield Wednesday are also said to be in the race to sign this free agent. The winger is also not ruling out a new Middlesbrough deal as well.
Does Gerrard need a winger?
One area where the Gers are packed with options is out wide. They have already secured the signatures of Jordan Jones and Jake Hastie for the next season. Jamie Murphy is also going to be available after his horror first year at Ibrox where he got injured in August 2018 and missed the whole of the campaign.
Rangers are very interested in bringing Ryan Kent back on loan, and they are also being linked with another Liverpool winger in Sheyi Ojo. They also have the likes of Glenn Middleton, Daniel Candeias and Eros Grezda at their disposal.
Why should Gerrard avoid signing Downing?
Even if the Gers needed a winger, Downing would be a lousy option as he is way past his prime and is only useful as bits and pieces players who can fill in various roles for the team. Rangers have players who can do that and Downing is nowhere near the quality that Rangers need to challenge Celtic.
In his prime, the Englishman was known for his pace and dribbling skills and his direct style of play. However, his final product in the attacking third was always questionable. In 408 appearances in the Premier League, Downing managed just 37 goals which are poor numbers for a player who played in the attacking third.
One might argue that his experience will come in handy at Ibrox, but we don’t see him making much impact or improving the first team. Last summer they brought in Gareth McAuley just for his experience, but he was hardly able to contribute. Hopefully, Gerrard would stay away from this move even though Downing is available on a free transfer.