The former Middlesbrough winger confirmed: ‚ÄúThe first thing I asked the manager was ‚Äėare these players staying? Because I would like to play with them‚Äô and his response was ‚Äėno players will be leaving this football club unless they‚Äôre not playing.
‚ÄúHe said the likes of Ashley Young will not be leaving because he is trying to build a squad, not dismantle one. That was great news for me and that‚Äôs what made me sign really.‚ÄĚ
Downing added: ‚ÄúI‚Äôve known Ashley for quite a few years, I‚Äôve seen him come here from Watford and he‚Äôs done really well.
‚ÄúThere‚Äôs no rivalry. I might play on the left, him on the right, it might be the other way around. He might play up front, I might play up front. You need options, you have 60 odd games to play over the season.
‚ÄúThe manager here didn‚Äôt use many players last season.
‚ÄúYou need competition at a top club and this will bring the best out of everyone.‚ÄĚ