Brendan Rodgers admitted to the media in the West Ham pre-match press conference he made a mistake allowing former Aston Villa winger Stewart Downing to depart from Liverpool.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, the former Swansea boss didn’t hide away from the fact Stewart Downing has been in inspired form for West Ham this season and admitted that he never wanted him to leave the club.
‘’Stewart is one that I didn’t want to let go,’’ Rodgers was quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
‘’He had a difficult start but on the second half of the season he was a regular. He’s got wonderful technique and is a good guy.
‘’It hasn’t surprised me how well he has done.’’
This season, the 30-year-old midfielder has proved to be one of the better English performers in the Premier League and with 22 games gone, he looks to be putting a strong case together to pick up the club’s Player of the Season award at the end of the campaign.
He has five goals and seven assists from 21 appearances in the Premier League and on average has created just shy of three goalscoring opportunities a game – second to only Cesc Fabregas in the whole division.
If still at Liverpool, would Downing be a key member of the Rodgers’ team?
Although he has impressed this season, it does seem likely the move away from Liverpool has been the catalyst behind his upturn in form.
Following his mega-money signing and the ridicule that came with it, he was always on a hiding to nothing at Anfield and the move away, thus taking him out of the spotlight, has allowed him to get his confidence back.
Based on his West Ham form, it’s a no brainer as he has arguably outperformed the entirety of Liverpool’s midfield. However, if he had never made the transfer from Anfield to Upton Park, we may not have seen the England international hit the standard he is at now.