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Downing's versatility will be invaluable

Mowbray believes new boy Stewart can play anywhere across the midfield or at full-back

23 June 2019

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Manager Tony Mowbray says Stewart Downing's versatility will be a major asset to Rovers this season.

The former England international became Rovers' first summer signing this week, putting pen-to-paper on a one-year deal.

The Rovers new boy made his name at Middlesbrough as a talented winger with a wand of a left foot, which earned him big-money moves to Aston Villa and then Liverpool.

As his prestigious career progressed, Downing has operated in a range of midfield roles, as well as in a full-back berth.

Mowbray believes those qualities will be a big boost to Rovers in the upcoming campaign and were a key factor when considering his options to strengthen the squad.

"I think his ability to play in different positions is important," said the Rovers boss. "That's one of the main reasons why we've brought him here.

"He can play centre midfield, he can play wide right, wide left, he could even play left-back, serving the ball deep from those positions into the strikers, if the game dictated.

"People have learnt over the last few years that I like players with the ability to play in different positions - Elliott Bennett being a classic case at the moment.

"He's played at right-back and he's also played on the left wing, the right wing and in centre mid.

"I think Stewart will bring that versatility to our squad as well."

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