Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard believes Stewart Downing has the perfect stage on which to build his reputation as one of England's leading players.

The Reds winger was one of the standout players in England's 1-0 friendly win over Sweden on Tuesday night, and Gerrard is confident Downing will grow into his role at Anfield and prove himself to be worth every penny of the £20million Kenny Dalglish paid for him.

The Reds skipper told LFC Magazine: "I think the move was perfect for him at this point of his career. He was the star at Middlesbrough and I think he moved up to Villa and proved he could be one of the best players in the league. I think at the age he's at it was perfect for him to sign for us."

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