Downing never wanted Liverpool exit

Stewart Downing does not want to leave Liverpool in January, with the England winger insisting he believes he can force his way into the first team plans of manager Brendan Rodgers, according to Sky Sports.

The former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa midfielder added that he never wanted to leave Anfield despite having been told he was free to do so by Rodgers. Downing continued that he was left confused by the manager’s decision, having previously appeared to be earning the former Swansea City’s manager’s favour.

I wanted to stay, I didn’t want to leave but it was out of my hands. I was out of the team and frustrated and I said if something big came up I’d look at it. We had that conversation and, to be honest, I thought I was on my way in January,” Downing said.

He added: “I was a little bit surprised when [Rodgers] said I could go. He came in and was pleased with me at the start and then all of a sudden things changed quickly and I could go.

Downing has however found his way back into the Liverpool team lately, playing 90 minutes in Liverpool’s 4-0 win over Fulham on Saturday, scoring his first league goal for the club in the process. Downing cost Liverpool £20m when signed by Kenny Dalglish from Villa in the summer of 2011, having spent two years in the Midlands after beginning his career with Middlesbrough.

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