Brendan Rogers needs a spot on The Price is Right.
Liverpool’s manager has the option of getting rid of 28-year-old winger Stewart Downing this summer if he wants to. While he does bring some value to the table, the Reds can cash in on his strong production last year. He scored three goals and had five assists in Premier League play.
It appears that West Ham has its eyes on the midfielder, according to Charlie Skillen of the Daily Mail. The scribe reports that the club is lining up a bid for Stewart, as the Hammers would like to pair him with his former teammate, Andy Carroll, whom West Ham acquired earlier this summer.
At 28 years old, Downing probably isn’t going to get much better in the future. Three goals and five assists might be as much juice as Liverpool can squeeze out of him. There’s also the chance that he fails to replicate last year’s success and falls flat on his face again this year.
Is keeping him a risk worth taking?
B/R’s Joseph Zucker believes that by selling Downing, Rogers would have an easier time putting the right players in the right places. Zucker names Susa, Luis Alberto and Raheem Sterling as younger players who could see an increased role going forward with Downing playing elsewhere.
The goal for Rogers this summer is to make the team better. The manager told the official website of the club that, “What we’ve done in the early part of the summer is to improve the squad. That’s something I feel we’ve done with the players we’ve brought in.” He believes Liverpool will have a “terrific squad” by September.
But will Downing be a part of that “terrific squad” by then? Well, it probably depends on how much money Liverpool can get for the winger’s services. The Reds definitely won’t be getting nearly as much as they allegedly paid to land him. Sam Gayton of Metro reports Downing cost Liverpool around £20 million in 2011.
This summer, Rogers will be lucky if he gets half of that.
Seriously, Rogers should jump for joy if West Ham would be willing to bid around £10 million to get Downing. But what should Liverpool do if the bid is less, and potentially much less than that £10 million? What’s it going to take for West Ham to get their hands on the winger this summer?
If West Ham is willing to pay £5 million or more for Downing, Rogers absolutely has to pull the trigger. If the bid for the winger is less than that amount, Liverpool may be better off hanging on to him for the time being and seeing if he can be a big contributor this year. Worst-case scenario is Liverpool keeps him and he stinks.
The ball isn’t in Rogers’ court right now, though. His decision will likely be based on what West Ham offers. The Liverpool manager probably has a figure in his head that he’d like to get in exchange for Downing, and if the club bids that amount, he should send the 28-year-old packing.