Paul Downing has made his loan move from MK Dons to Blackburn permanent by penning a and one-and-a-half-year deal at Ewood Park. The central defender was on a season-long loan deal at Rovers but manager Tony Mowbray has moved to acquire Downing after an impressive first half of the season.
Paul Downing’s Blackburn Loan Becomes Permanent
Downing has enjoyed a positive start to life in the North West following his loan move from Milton Keynes. The 26-year-old has made 18 appearances so far this season for Blackburn and has yet to be on the losing side. Blackburn have won 12 and drawn six of the matches in which Downing has played.
Downing, who worked under current boss Tony Mowbray at West Brom, also notched his first Blackburn goal during the initial loan spell. This came in the 4-2 away win over Blackpool where he scrambled in the fourth goal from a corner.
Out of Favour
Downing was brought to MK Dons in the summer of 2016 as part of the re-building job following relegation from the Championship. He signed on a free transfer after rejecting a new contract at Walsall. He made his debut on the opening day of the season, starting in the 1-0 away win over Shrewsbury Town.
Downing was an inconsistent performer, however. This lead him to fall out of favour with the fans and eventually with Robbie Neilson too. He spent his remaining months on the bench while regular full-backs George Williams and Dean Lewington alternated in his place.
As well as admitting that he was out of favour with the Dons, Downing said he was unsure he would be at the club even on deadline day in the summer when Blackburn came in for him. Speaking to rovers.co.uk, he said:
“On deadline day, you don’t know where your season is going to be.
“I was sort of out of favour at my previous club, so I owe a huge credit to the manager here for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent on the pitch and trusting me to perform.
“Hopefully I’ve repaid that a little bit, but there’s still a long way to go.”