Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes that if Stewart Downing can keep up his recent good form, he can force himself back into the England reckoning.
After signing for the Anfield club for a believed figure of around £20 million, Downing did not create or score a single league goal throughout the whole of the 2011/12 campaign – leaving not only his England prospects but Liverpool career in tatters.
However, summer appointment Rodgers showed belief in the confidence-stricken winger and slowly but surely that has paid off as Downing’s recent form has been impressive with the winger notching five goals in all competitions so far this season – with two of these in his last two Premier League appearances.
"I've been delighted with Stewart, he has come into the team and made the position his own. He has been absolutely outstanding," Rodgers told Liverpoolfc.com.
"There's no doubt about Stewart's qualities and what he's showing at the moment is that fighting spirit, doing all those things that we ask of every player in the team.
"It was a terrific goal at the weekend, how he read the game to press the centre-half and challenge the goalkeeper. It was a wonderful finish with his right foot.
"It showed his confidence level and how he's playing at the moment and we'll look to keep that going.
"If he continues this form, I'm very hopeful he'll play himself back into the England team."
Downing hasn’t always been a popular choice among England fans but with his career seemingly on the up, England boss Roy Hodgson could give him another chance.
Seemingly a fan of the winger, Hodgson included Downing in the Euro 2012 squad last summer. However, the ex-Middlesbrough and Aston Villa midfielder hasn’t actually featured since a friendly with Norway in May of last year, which was Hodgson’s first game in charge of the Three Lions.
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