The winger was expected to leave Anfield last summer, after failing to adjust to life on Merseyside following his £20m arrival from Aston Villa in 2011.
Manager Brendan Rodgers dropped the England international to the bench, before using him as a makeshift left-back in the absence of Jose Enrique and Glen Johnson.
But, since the turn of the year Downing has shown real signs of development, forcing his way into the first-team and staying there thanks to a series of impressive displays.
He capped his recent resurgence with the equalising goal in Liverpool’s 3-2 win over Tottenham on Sunday, and Gerrard believes that his team-mate’s revival has been nothing short of excellent:
“He’s a different player now.” He is quoted by the Independent.
“Now we’re seeing Stewart Downing the England international and why he has got all those caps.”
As well as scoring goals and creating opportunities for the likes of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge, he has also shown a willingness to work hard for the team, a trait which has impressed Gerrard:
“What is impressing me the most about Stewart at the moment is the work he’s doing for the team without the ball – sliding tackles, his double-marking with Glen Johnson and his effort.
“The stats that go up on the board after every game underline that.
“He’s a different player and if he can keep producing those type of performances then it will be money well spent.”
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