Mixed emotions filled Liverpool fans minds upon the announcement of Stewart Downings signature, with thoughts washing forums and message boards. “He is not a Liverpool player” “how much for a decent level premier league winger?” “Ashley Youngs poorer alternative if you ask me”.
Stewart Downing has become Liverpools marquee and most expensive signing of the summer although the fans negative feelings were not being simultaneously thought of inside the club.
Damien Comolli stated: He is what we were missing on the attacking side, which is a left foot,” Comolli told Sky Sports News. “But he can play on both sides which is good for different systems, whether Kenny wants to play 4-3-3 or 4-4-2.”He brings us a trick, quality of delivery, he can score, he creates, and he gets a lot of assists. He was a missing link that we didn’t have, and we are glad we have got him.”
The club have sacked many of its European scouts replacing them the help of Comolli. Liverpools new owners are bringing a new statistical approach to signings saying they will gladly part with big money as long as it does not present a bigger gamble than it has too. A complete turnaround in Liverpools past game plan of taking lots of gambles and failing miserably, struggling to sell big money players which hinders their future transfer plans by taking huge hits fee wise.
Fenways approach has proven success with their other sporting ventures so why change the formula, right?
In the former Villa and Boro man Fenway and LFC have found a consistent performer who has a good attitude and ambition (having only achieved runners up medals in his career so far).
Not since John Barnes has Liverpool had “an out and out wide player” not a winger! Stewart does not constantly cut in field like Ashley Young and many other modern day wingers, he will keep his boots white for a lot of the game stretching the game play, something he was taught at Middlesbroughs famed and successful academy.
Sure there was Steve Mcmanaman who was a phenomenal talent but again would cut in field with mazy runs and was not really a good crosser of the ball. Kopites have not been treated to natural wing play for a long time having to put up with mediocre versions including Jermaine Pennant and Albert Riera with Pennant more interested in the notches on his bed post and the latter having a good eye for goal and delivery but not the pace to beat defenders week after week.
In the past Liverpool have paid for what they have got, in other words if you spend five to seven million pound on a player then you will get weekly performances to reflect that value, Kenny echoing these comments recently by saying “I would rather have a top quality player than two average ones”, a man who knows a lot!
Statistically speaking the twenty seven times capped England international is a no brainer; he is coming into his peak years of a footballer, twenty seven to thirty one years old, an experienced Premier League player with a good assist and goal rate in recent history. He will also fit into the Premier Leagues new English rota that is now in place for clubs to follow.
Downings motivation will be at an all time high at being part of a top club he had always dreamed of and pushing for an England place in the up and coming European championships. Not to mention burning a desire before it is too late to take part in Champions League football.