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Stewart Downing looks set to join West Ham


Liverpool’s English midfielder Stewart Downing (L) challenges Queens Park Rangers’ Senegalese defender Armand Traore during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Queens Park Rangers at the Anfield stadium in Liverpool, northwest England, on May 19, 2013. Liverpool won the match 1-0. AFP PHOTO / PAUL ELLIS RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or “live” services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

AFP/Getty Images

Stewart Downing has had a rough time of it since joining Liverpool from Aston Villa in the summer of 2011. Two years on, the £20m purchase price looks mighty high. The 29 year old winger is not only the butt of many a fan’s joke but, far worse for his career, was told at the start of last season by manager Brendan Rodgers that he will not be a part of Liverpool’s plans for the future.

Somehow, Downing forced his way back into the Liverpool side, most likely because Rodgers had no other viable option on the left. Yet despite starting 39 matches in all competitions, and notching five goals, Downing never lived up to the hype, or the price tag. Now it seems that he’s on his way to West Ham United.

Reports suggest he will arrive in London on Monday for a medical, with a £5m fee agreed for the midfielder. Personal terms are yet to be decided, however, and with Downing’s high wages and repeatedly expressed desire to stay at Liverpool and fight for a starting role, may be difficult to negotiate. Should the deal go through, Downing will leave Anfield having played just 65 league games for the club he so desperately wanted to join, and never having obtained the Champions League football he was so adamant about pursuing.

West Ham, for their part, are doing well to capitalize on Liverpool’s costly errors, having already picked up Andy Carroll earlier this summer for about £20m less than the Reds paid for him in 2011. Not a terrible bit of business for the Irons, particularly if adding Downing’s service into the box can help Carroll improve on last season’s tally of seven goals.