Date: 23rd June 2011 at 10:02am
Written by:

Liverpool have been linked with the Stewart Downing since January. A lot of the complaints about us being linked with him have been down to one fact among many Reds fans: he isn’t Juan Mata. From my point of view though, the comparisons between the Spanish playmaker and the England winger are completely unfair, they are not similar styles of player at all. Mata on the one hand could only be loosely described as a winger as he prefers to play in the whole behind the strikers, while Downing has always been more comfortable down the flanks.

One of the probable reasons why Downing maybe a bigger priority for Dalglish and Comolli than Mata currently, maybe because they are looking for a more natural winger to compliment the characteristics of Andy Carroll. Of course Mata maybe a superior dribbler and has a better passing range, but I feel that Downing maybe favoured purely because he would give the team more width than Mata would.

For sure, Downing has played as a central midfield player both at Middlesbrough and Aston Villa, but you only have to look at the video footage by ElPistoleroJFT96 below to see that most of his assists last campaign came from crosses, many of which came from his weaker right foot too:

Even from a 3 minute clip, a person who hadn’t even seen the player before can see that Downing can keep genuine pace while running with the ball, can shoot and pass with either foot, and has a variety to his game which means he can provide through balls as well as being a decent crosser.

7 goals and 7 assists in a poor season for Villa, as well as the club’s player of the season award isn’t a bad case to put forward for buying the player.

The question becomes though, is he worth the £15million being suggested? With two years left on his contract, would we be just paying over the heads for an above average player?

Somebody like Mata is only valued a £3million more, and at 23, he is 3 years Downing’s junior with probably a greater amount of vision and skill on the ball. Going by the stats, Downing wasn’t fantastic at either dribbling and delivering decent crosses last season, and although he has had a very good season, is he the sort of player which will push the club up to the next level of being league contenders once again?
For many fans the answer is no, and every time I have put up a transfer rumour on this site linking the player with us, a few fans cry out at the apparent waste of money.

Still, I go back to the point I made at the top of the article. What sort of player is Kenny Dalglish looking for? He is looking for width, pace and guile to help out Andy Carroll and to give the side a different dimension, and if we do purchase Downing, it will be certain that he believes the 26 year old is the man to do that. Whether he is right, we will have to find out next season and how many assists he provides for the likes of Carroll.

Article is courtesy of David at Live4Liverpool


13 responses to “[Video] The type of winger Dalglish is looking for”

  1. Nik Gresham says:

    Jeffren Payet and Nzogbia would be better options but any two or the four that includes Downing will do a good job.

  2. HM187 says:

    Granted, Downing would be the preferred choice over Mata as he would provide the width we so badly need. However he is not worth £15m. It really depends what sort of formation(s) KK is looking to put in place for next season. No doubt he will be looking for players who can put it in a decent ball in the middle for Carroll, but is that all Carroll is all about? £35m for his heading ability? No, he can hold the ball and link play for those who will go past him. Personally a 3-6-1 formation.
    CB Carragher, Skrtel, Agger
    LWB Enrique (hopefully), RWB Johnson
    CDM Lucas, CM Henderson, Gerrard
    CAM Suarez, Mata (hopefully)
    ST Carroll.
    the range of passing and playing flair with that type of formation would be pretty good. You got both Enrique and Johnson both with great engines to provide the overlapping and the ability to whip in good balls. Lucas to cover the back 3 defenders. this leaves Gerrard, Hendo linking forward with Suarez,Mata and Carroll in attack!! Suarez and Mata playing behind Carroll would be great. We know Suarez is not an out-an-out striker but in that hole he can be very dangerous and defenders can not pick him up. Add Mata into that equation and you got two quality players to consider and that is before you deal with Gerrard, Hendo and Carroll!! Mata and Suarez would be a force and Carroll strength would add another dimension. The playing needs to be flexible and change in a game no matter what circumstance. This formation would create great flexibilty. I would favor Mata over Downing, although Downing has the advantage of already adapting into he EPL, slotting in would be easier. However Suarez adapted so quick so why can’t Mata? You may think what about Merieles, Kelly, Kuyt, Maxi? Well this would just provide more depth into the squad, especially now we should really try and compete in all 3 domestic trophies. Bring in the likes of Wickam, Dann, Chamberlain and we got some good quality youth players for the future. YNWA!!

  3. Steve S says:

    Have to say i don’t know what the fuss is all about with Mata, we don’t really need him, Suarez will play the type of role that Mata would. Our need is for an out and out winger. If we’re not going to get that then we need an out and out left wing back. Either way, i don’t think Mata is the answer to our problem.

  4. Chunky says:

    A video of Boudebouz as wing wizard puts Downing in perspective! This 21yr Algerian playing for Sochez really is fast tricky ball-wise and has a shot like Billy Liddell when needed. Also half the money needed..

  5. jonesey says:

    Great article with a balanced view and thank God were talking wingers – hope Kenny gets two of them – must say Chunkys boy sounds very interesting.

  6. michael says:

    agree with steve s. if we got downing & clichy our left would be alot better plus it would give us good balance. riera was poor but was the only lefty to give us balance in recent years. we have to strech teams across the field thats why ithink they’ll go for downing.

  7. RoMeLu says:

    Kenny should get rid of all the dead wood. All the dead wood includes the likes of Paul Konchesky, Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic, David N’gog, Christian Poulsen, Alberto Aquilani, Emiliano Insua, Nabil El Zhar, Philipp Degen = 40m + transfer budget(50m)?

    and buy :
    Mathieu Bodmer – 5m(can play as an attacking, central, defensive midfielder as well as a centre back)
    Aly Cissokho – 15m
    Juan Mata – 20m
    Samir Nasri – 20m
    Connor Wickham – 8m (to replace N’gog)

    Total = 68m

    GK Reina & Jones
    CB Carragher & Agger & Skrtel & (Bodmer) & Kyrgiakos & Kelly & Wilson
    RB Johnson & Flanagan
    LB Cissokho & Aurelio & Robinson
    CM Gerrard & Mereiles & (Bodmer) & Lucas & Henderson & Spearing & Shelvey
    RWM Nasri & (Kuyt) & Sterling
    LWM Mata & Maxi & Suso
    FW Suarez & (Kuyt) & Carroll & Wickham & Pacheco

    Quality team. Capable of winning the Premier League title and earning back our spot in the Champs League.


  8. HM187 says:

    this is b*** s*** all of it!! you can’t be serious on £40 for that load of deadwood can you? be lucky if we get £20m!! Nasri to LFC, are you playing football manager!!

  9. HM187 says:

    i agree to lund put

  10. rolando says:

    waste of money

  11. steven says:

    I think mata is better better than downing, and we are not thinking all about crossing ball up and down. no we need creator like luis suares.

  12. Good article by David.
    Downin & mata, i knw dat there is a difference between d two. But rememba dat we need premier league proven players, that matter d wear tear they wont wash away.
    Comolli get: charlie adam, stewart downing or freddy Guarin from fc_porto a player with d highest instinct of football technique n skill with deadly long range crosses, vargas from fiorentina, blaise matuidi or yann m’villa or moussa sissokho or nigel de jong, dimitri payet, adel tarabaat, sakho or cristian zapata.

  13. Gerrardious says:

    @HM187: gotta admit u made a lot of sense, but still, 3-6-1????
    wake up man