West Ham United made a number of excellent additions over the summer.
The Hammers' remarkable summer transfer window has brought in a great deal of quality to the Boleyn Ground and he believes that Sam Allardyce has never had such a wealth of riches to choose from in his managerial career to date.
"Selection gets hard and it's one the manager would like because he's never really had it," Downing told BT Sport. "Everyone is fighting for their place and the step up in quality has been good this year."
The improvements the side have made have come as a surprise to all onlookers as West Ham have transformed from mid-table strugglers into potential top-four candidates.
At the moment Allardyce's men are in the Champions League qualification spaces and their performances are suggesting that they have the ability to stay there.
West Ham have looked solid at the back, but they have also added an attacking style to their game with the power and creativity they have in forward positions making them a threat to any side.
The Hammers have already beaten Liverpool and Manchester City during the campaign so far, proving that they are capable of competing against the higher-profile teams in the country.
This weekend Downing and his teammates travel to the North East, where they will be looking to establish their lofty position by picking up three points against Sunderland.