Downing Sets Comeback Date

Big money buy Stewart Downing has targeted a Christmas return as he looks to break into the Villa first team after injury.

The £12m winger, signed from Middlesbrough in July, has been out of action since April when current Claret and Blue captain Stiliyan Petrov mistimed a challenge during a clash at the Riverside.

Downing, 24, suffered a broken foot thanks to Petrov's tough tackling but that did not deter Martin O'Neill from grabbing his man before the end of the transfer window.

The Villa gaffer may may just feel he has got the England star a little cheaper due to his injury and with Ashley Young currently occupying the left wing berth, he knows that Downing needn't be rushed into action.

However, the comeback of any quality player can only add to the team and it is certainly set to give the Claret and Blue manager a selection conundrum.

It looks like December it is to be for Villa's most expensive summer signing and his excitement at a return is likely to match that of the fans who want to see him don the famous shirt.