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Aston Villa urged to keep hold of Downing

Gareth Southgate says Aston Villa must do all they can to keep hold of Stewart Downing.

Former Middlesbrough boss Southgate couldn't speak highly enough of the England wide man when Martin O'Neill came calling in 2009.

"He's an outstanding player that I recommended to Martin," Southgate told the Sunday Mercury.

"Martin was brave enough to take him on with an injury and he missed pre-season and a bit more.

"But this season he has gone on to show his pedigree.

"He's put in some excellent performances for club and country.

"He's the type of player that Villa will want to try and keep because he's technically excellent and it's been no surprise to me that he's been one of their best players this season."

 It's kicking off again! Click here for your No1 source for Aston Villa transfer market news and gossip.

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