England winger heading for Anfield?
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Skysports.com understands Liverpool have made an approach to sign Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing.
The England international has impressed for Villa this season and has been an ever-present for the club in the Premier League.
He is Villa’s top scorer with five goals in the league and is understood to have been the subject of an enquiry from Sunderland last week.
The 26-year-old is now being targeted by Liverpool as new manager Kenny Dalglish seeks to inject some fresh blood into his squad.
Downing cost Villa £12million from Middlesbrough 18 months ago and he has made 64 appearances after injury delayed the start of his career in the Midlands.
Villa boss Gerard Houllier revealed last month that he was confident that he would be able to retain the services of Downing during the January transfer window.
However, Villa’s pursuit of Sunderland striker Darren Bent could prompt the club to consider letting Downing move on.
An offer of £18million is reported to have been made for Bent and cashing in on Downing would provide some of the funds to bring in his fellow England international. (Sky Sports)
After recently being linked with the likes of Eden Hazard, Gervinho and Eljero Elia for the left wing role, a move for Aston Villa’s Stewart Downing would be a bit of an anticlimax for some Liverpool fans.
Despite that, Downing has been far better this season than his club’s league position might suggest, and the club’s game against Manchester United in November was clear illustration of that.
Downing put a highly impressive 15 balls into the box in that game – almost all of them in that dangerous area between the goalkeeper and his defence – and assisted Marc Albrighton’s goal.
The England winger also has five Premier League goals this season – more than any Liverpool midfielder.
However, he does not possess the pace that is so desperately required at Anfield, nor does he possess the flair to lift the crowd and team.
The £10m approach understood to have been made would surely find better value on the continent?
For Aston Villa, Downing’s sale would enable Ashley Young to resume playing on the left of midfield again, after Marc Albrighton made the right flank his own this season.
Even so, what would Darren Bent think of one of his main supply lines being sold?
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