6 Apr 2014

Transfer Fail: 'Disappointed' BR admits he 'didn't want to sell' £20m star. Mistake...?

In December, former Liverpool winger Stewart Downing endured a miserable return to Anfield. He limped out of the game at half-time after being hacked down by Jon Flanagan (and missed the next month through injury), and to add insult to injury, the Reds went on to hammer West Ham 4-1. Downing will get the chance to stick the knife into LFC's title hopes this weekend, and whilst he remains a polarising figure amongst LFC fans, Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers continues to insist that club made a mistake selling the inconsistent winger.

When asked about Downing during his pre-West Ham press conference today, Rodgers mused:

"I didn't want to sell Stewart. He really progressed for us and became a very important player by the end of the season. Also, the money we were going to get for him was going to help us with other players, and unfortunately he left. I was disappointed to see him go".

This echoes Rodgers' comments in December, when he told the Liverpool Echo:

“He [Downing] showed in the second half of last season what he could do. He got better and better, played a prominent role [in pre-season] and then had to be sold in order for us to invest in other players. It was a disappointment really because when he was called upon he had showed up really well"

A pair of glowing eulogies from Rodgers, but the truth is if he really wanted Downing to stay, he would've persuaded him that he remained an important part of the club's plans. According to Downing, Rodgers basically admitted he'd only be a bit-part player. He told Sky Sports:

"He [Rodgers] said he couldn't promise I would play every week. I need to play. I could not go through that again. I'd missed three or four months when Brendan first came and the season before that I was in and out"

As for Rodgers' contention that Downing had to be sold so he could 'invest in other players' - that seems tenuous to me. Are LFC so hard-up that transfer business couldn't proceed without the paltry €6m received for Downing? (which, incidentally, ultimately led to the club taking an overall £15m loss on the player)

The problem with Downing is - and remains - his end product. At LFC, he just didn't score/create goals regularly enough, and his paucity in front of goal continues at West Ham:

* 2012-13: 2 goals/2 assists in last 24 games for LFC.
* Didn't score/create in his final 9 games of the season.
* 2013-14: 0 goals/2 assists in 32 appearances this season for West Ham.

No goals and only 2 assists in 32 games? Seriously, with those figures, it's clear that Liverpool made the right decison to sell Downing. The primary job of an attacking midfielder/winger is to score and create goals, and he just doesn't deliver on a consistent basis.

Having said that, I'd still take Downing over Aspas, Alberto, and Moses, all of whom have contributed nothing to Liverpool's season (though, to be fair, it's not Alberto's fault he doesn't get picked).

Downing was a physical presence on the field, and his vast experience in the game is a genuine asset. Rodgers spent £16m on Alberto and Aspas, but he could've just saved that money (and the wages), and kept Downing, who definitely would've featured quite a bit this season (Covering Suarez at the start of the year; covering Coutinho's injury etc).

Let's hope the decision to sell him doesn't come back to haunt LFC this Sunday. Downing hasn't scored all season, but ou just know he'll probably score against Liverpool (!)



  1. Downing had no end product for me. I never wanted him at LFC in the first place. He started to preform slightly towards the end of his LFC career but it was very little too late. For me Downings a work horse and a predicable one at that.

  2. When AC left, Downing was sure to follow.

  3. Always was and will be a waste of £20m in the history of lfc bad buys. Never was good enough to play of such a big club and glad we finally washed our hands of him.
    He can get all the assists he wants, but will never be a danger to an opposing team.
    His nickname should be Passenger 57 as he use to hide behind enrique quite often.

  4. I think this is a lie. Everybody knows downing's a failure, same as carroll. Poor effort by BR. Whats the problem saying we didnt need this or that player, he wasnt good enough for us and thats it. That aint disrespectful at all, just professionalism.

  5. Its called respect for a fellow pro

  6. It's part of Brendan doing everything right in the the title bid. Defuse any players looking to prove a point such as Downing and Carroll. Downing is a player who has the skill but lacks the winning mentality. We are mis building a team of winners and he simply isn't one.

  7. But hell faking!

  8. lukakuuuuuu

  9. We should go in for him if Suarez leaves in the summer.

  10. Arsenal in tatters.

  11. I think if we'd got him for 10 mil and half the wages he was on he'd have been a good squad player. Better than Moses anyway. The amount invested in downing for the measly return is what makes his time at anfield so difficult to take

  12. Rogers should have just kept quiet on Downing. Just say nothing

  13. We were also getting rid of the 'wages'