Liverpool Transfer Rumours: Club Should Not Give Up on Stewart Downing
Unfortunately, this appears to be a realistic possibility with Newcastle trying to acquire the midfielder, according to Simon Rice of the Independent:
Stewart Downing could leave Liverpool for as little as £5m, with Newcastle reportedly monitoring the situation.
The England midfielder has struggled to hold down a place under Brendan Rodgers, and after being left out of Liverpool's last two friendlies, it appears the 29-year-old is surplus to requirements at Anfield.
This would represent pretty poor business for Liverpool after the club brought in the player for £20 million two years ago. While he has not lived up to expectations, selling him for only £5 million would be embarrassing.
Downing has struggled to get onto the pitch over the past couple of years, and when he has managed to, there have been some issues. Still, he has shown plenty of ability to believe that he can still help out the squad.
One of the biggest problems has been how Downing has been used on the pitch.
WhoScored rated 33 starts by the veteran player between the Premier League and Europa League last season. It is clear where on the pitch he was the most effective.
His rating as an attacking midfielder was 7.44, which compares him favorably to some of the best players in the league.
Should Liverpool sell Stewart Downing?
Obviously, manager Brendan Rodgers wants to make sure he puts players like Steven Gerrard and Daniel Sturridge in position to succeed. Still, there should be a way to make room for Downing as he looks to help the offense.
It is certainly clear that he only hurts the squad when he is put on the defensive end.
Of course, this is yet another positive characteristic for the 29-year-old. He showed that he is willing to step up and play out of position for the club when injuries make it a necessity. This leadership is something that cannot be overlooked as the squad tries to move further up the table next season.
With the relatively young and inconsistent squad that Liverpool have, they should take all the leadership they can find.
Liverpool could be in rough shape if they lose Luis Suarez, which means they need all the talent they can get. Selling Downing would create some space in payroll, but it will not help things on the pitch, which is the bigger issue at this point.
Allowing the England national to leave would be a massive mistake, and it will be a move that management will regret all year.
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