"Having said that, we know that Stewart has to achieve all that his talent allows, so the onus is on Middlesbrough to ensure his ambitions are fulfilled here."
There is a confidence within the club that Downing can play an even bigger role next season, having added goals to his creative talents last time around.
"Stewart's got everything as a player and is playing possibly the best football of his career, both for Middlesbrough and for England.
"But I don't feel that he is fulfilled his potential yet. His best years are ahead of him. In fact, we believe Stewart will become one of the best footballers not just in Britain but in Europe."