Brighton move for Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing is smart business; will help Solly March realise potential

Brighton manager Chris Hughton

Brighton are hoping to land Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing, and this could prove to be a smart move.

Middlesbrough's Stewart Downing celebrates after the game

The Sun reports that Brighton and Hove Albion are leading the race to sign Middlesbrough midfielder Stewart Downing. The Premier League new boys hope to land the 32-year-old as part of their bid to remain in England's top flight.

Downing was recently told by new Boro boss Garry Monk that he had no future at the Riverside Stadium. This means that the Seagulls will be likely to sign him on a free transfer.

Downing, who was in his second spell with his hometown club, is not short of suitors. He is being linked with other Championship clubs but the opportunity to extend his stay in the Premier League may be too good to turn down.

Whilst his best days are arguably behind him, the former England international still has a lot to offer and at the right club can be a useful addition.

Brighton are short of top-flight experience, and Downing has the right kind of pedigree, with over 400 Premier League appearances under his belt.

The addition of Downing will also benefit Brighton's highly-rated winger Solly March.

Brighton’s Solly March and Burton Albion’s Jackson Irvine (L) in actionSolly March made his first team debut for Brrighton in 2013

March is an England U21 international and has made 85 appearances for the club since breaking into the first team from the academy set up. The 22-year-old's total would be comfortably in triple figures if he was not susceptible to injuries. He returned to the Brighton first team in November, following an 11-month lay off with a serious knee injury.

March is capable of playing on either side of midfield, but has caught the eye particular on the left. With his injury troubles now behind him, March can now concentrate on becoming a key figure for Brighton.

The potential arrival of Downing will provide competition for March, as well as allowing him to be able to learn from an ex-England player who has played in the same role that March hopes to make his own at the AMEX stadium.

Brighton's Solly March shoots at goal and Bobby Zamora (not pictured) scores the rebound



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