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Villa sign Stewart Downing


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Aston Villa have made their first serious dip into the summer transfer market by completing the signing of Middlesbrough's international winger Stewart Downing. The fee is believed to be £12m and he has signed on a 4 year contract.

The fee potentially represents a transfer record for Villa. The previous record was set when Villa bought James Milner from Newcastle for a fee believed to be anywhere from £10m to £12m, though that fee is officially undisclosed.

As Boro re-adjust to life in the Championship, Villa are the first to benefit from the sale of some of their higher earners. Though if rumours are to be believed, this wont be the last time Martin and Gareth do business this summer with Turkish captain Tuncay being heavily linked to us as well.

Downing is a quality acquisition and will add much needed strength to a squad that has lost Gareth Barry & Martin Laursen already this summer. His role remains to be seen. He played in the centre at stages last season for Boro and some believe he might be a direct replacement for Barry. Others believe it signals a changing of roles for Ashley Young either with a switch to the right or in a floating central role. Other more nervous opinions suggest it paves the way for Young's exit.

Either way, this is the kind of signing the Villa faithful will want to see. High quality, high profile, first team players who can go straight into the team and do a job.

Unfortunately we will have to wait a while before we see the Boro academy graduate in the claret & blue as, ironically, we injured him last season and he wont recover until a few months into the new season.

VillaTalk welcomes the latest addition to the squad and is sure he will be a hit wherever Martin decides to use him!

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