The England winger has been one of Liverpoolâ€™s best performers in the past weeks and has started each of the Redsâ€™ last 10 games.
But his upturn in fortunes only came after boss Brendan Rodgers told him he could leave the club.
Downing, 28, said: â€œI wasnâ€™t in the team or playing and he said to me maybe I could look elsewhere because I need to play at my age.
â€œI didnâ€™t totally agree, but I understood where he was coming from. Obviously he needs players who are going to play and not be sat about, but I thought in the back of my mind if I get a chance I can prove myself to him.
â€œLuckily enough, I did in the next week or so after that. Our conversations have been very open â€” if Iâ€™m doing well he will say so and if not, Iâ€™ll be pulled aside and told what I need to do.
â€œItâ€™s the same for all the players. Itâ€™s good for me and thatâ€™s how I like it â€” to be told if itâ€™s right or wrong."