West Ham "Closing In" on Stewart Downing Transfer

Michael Dodge

One of Liverpool's most polarizing figures is apparently set for a move to London, as West Ham are reportedly close to landing the signature of Stewart Downing.

Of the major wage-earners in Liverpool's squad, Stewart Downing is perhaps the most controversial, a reality that amuses me to no end. He is overpaid, no doubt, but there is little about the man--at least what he can control--that can be genuinely considered as controversial. He's an entirely average footballer with a fairly mundane personality, works decently hard at his job and doesn't make much noise aside from run of the mill quotes about his spot in the squad and oh god it's boring even now. But listen, that might not matter anymore, because your manufactured outrage could have an end in sight, as Sam Allardyce and West Ham are reportedly close to bringing Downing aboard.

The only source right now is Pete O'Rourke from Sky Sports, so be judicious in just how much overzealous celebratory drinking you decide to do, but this isn't a link that's completely out of nowhere.

West Ham were the first club to find themselves linked with Downing earlier in the summer, causing the player to announce that he wanted to stay on Merseyside and work his way into the squad again after already having done so last season. Newcastle came into the fold and quickly exited, with Alan Pardew claiming that the link was entirely fabricated, so now we're back to Allardyce and a reunion with Andy Carroll and Joe Cole (thanks for the reminder Winds).

With two false starts already--though one did involve West Ham--this isn't necessarily something that will be ending quickly, though you'd think that if there were legs to it, Allardyce would want to have the player as soon as possible ahead of their opener against Cardiff City. On the Liverpool end of things the same logic applies, just slightly different--Downing isn't the most valuable player in the squad but gives depth and cover both in attack and, in a pinch, at the back.

The club simply cannot afford to offload someone like that, regardless of your feelings about him as a player.

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