Liverpool seem ready to offload Stewart Downing according to the latest reports which could give Brendan Rodgers an opportunity to bring Ashley Williams to the club.
Downing is being tipped to make a return to former club Aston Villa which would remove one of the older players in the current Liverpool squad, which provides a unique chance for Rodgers to bring in the Swansea City defender.
Liverpool seem to be very cagey over their youth policy at the moment in relation to their current set of players.
Rodgers is trying to create a young and sustainable team while the board seems reluctant to commit large volumes of cash on older players, which they see as poor investments.
That was the case the first time Liverpool tried to sign Williams, with the board reportedly blocking a move for the 28-year-old because they didn’t see value paying over £10 million for an older player.
However, Downing’s potential exit creates a chance for Rodgers to justify signing Williams because he’d be bringing in a player, similar to Downing in terms of age and experience.
That could cause the Liverpool board to change their apparent policy over Williams and it would allow the club to sign a top class defender, which is one of the final areas they need to address heading into the new season.
It’s a difficult one for Rodgers to judge because any Liverpool fan would admit Downing was playing out of his skin over the second half of the season.
He’s a valuable wide player on the left for the club and helps to take the pressure off of some of the more central midfielders.
Normally that sort of form and consistency heading into a transfer window is not rewarded with an exit from the club.
Liverpool have made some very positive signings in attack with Iago Aspas and Luis Alberto but the defence does remain an area for concern with only Kolo Toure wrapped up.
That puts pressure on Rodgers to address that area of the team and the fact Liverpool do have a very good chance of snapping up Williams if the circumstances are right may force the manager’s hand.
It would just be such a shame if Downing, who turned out to be a very important player for the club last season, is axed to make it possible.
Should Liverpool push out Downing to try and sign Williams? Can they keep him and still sign Williams?
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