Downing is up Laursens street

Downing netted three times last term following his move from Middlesbrough in the summer of 2009, but the England winger has already doubled that tally in this campaign and currently stands as Villa's top scorer. He has also provided goals for his team-mates, and Laursen feels Downing is developing into a real talisman in the Villa side.

"Stewart is a very exciting player. He is a really talented footballer," Laursen told the club`s official website. "He has flourished this season. He is going to be a massive player for Aston Villa.

"He missed pre-season last time out but still managed to perform really well. But he has taken his game on another notch this season, no question, creating goals and scoring a host too. It doesn't take you long watching him to realise 'here's a guy who can really play football`.

"He is so exciting to watch from a supporter's perspective. He gets people off their seats - he can make things happen. He will create for the team and score too. That's so, so important. He takes people on, he creates chances and he scores goals. He also works hard for the side too. There's not much more you can ask from a player.

"The brilliant thing is anything can happen when he gets the ball. He is just so talented."

Source: PA

Source: PA