Back in the summer of 2011, Stewart Downing was a £20 million winger on his way to Liverpool and a regular member of an England squad counting down the days to Euro 2012.
Two years later, when West Ham United rescued Downing from his Anfield nightmare, his value had dropped by £6 million and he found himself frozen out of the international scene.
Downing’s was a star on the wane, with questions being asked of his creative instincts and perceived lack of pace.
Fast forward 12 months and the 30-year-old has risen from the ashes, prompting national coach Roy Hodgson to bring him out of the wilderness for the European Championship qualifier with Slovenia and a glamour friendly with Scotland.
It's hard to argue against Downing's selection as his form has improved steadily since moving to Upton Park – with a comforting arm around the shoulder from Sam Allardyce getting a man who was in danger of losing his way firmly back on track.
|Position||Team||Season||Goal Assist||Goals||Total Scoring Att||Total Cross||Total Contest||Total Pass||Touches||Appearances||Mins Played|
|Stewart Downing||MF||West Ham||2014-2015||4||2||24||74||18||405||596||10||899|
|Stewart Downing||MF||West Ham||2013-2014||2||1||42||290||80||826||1,488||32||2,510|
The Opta stats above show that Downing has already bettered his return from last season in two key areas for any winger worth their salt – goals and assists.
Given that he is less than a third of the way towards hitting the same figures in terms of appearances made, that bodes well heading forward for him, West Ham, Allardyce and all of those partial to a spot of bubble blowing in the East End.
Downing has also hit more than half the amount of shots fired in 2013/14 and appears set to smash through previous passing and touches statistics.
It is remarkable how quickly fortunes can change and Downing must have have questioned himself as things started to unravel on Merseyside, but he is now back to doing what he does best - giving Premier League defences nightmares and dreaming of pulling on an England shirt again and adding to his 34-cap haul.