£15million for Downing, a proven international off the back of a great season at club level, is nothing short of an insult.
It is deeply concerning for Villa fans when other clubs that, let’s be honest, are not much different currently in terms of league standing, try to literally steal our best players with scandalously low offers. It appears that Liverpool are still trying to exert their 80s heyday influence.
It may be speculation (I hasten to add), but it has recently been suggested in a number of forums that Liverpool are notorious for tapping up players and trying to unsettle them, thereby trying to get them on the cheap. It didn’t happen with either Carroll or Henderson, so where has this offer of £15million come from? Is it that Dalglish has been reading about Downing and his Judas comments, and has seen an opportunity for a bargain?
There is not a person in the world that can tell me that Henderson is worth more than Downing, and that is where the concern arises. It appears that Villa have become synonymous with selling their best players and the situation is getting worse. For three summers on the trot we have lost one of our key players. This year we may lose two. Is that part of Randy’s ambition- a gradual closing down sale?
The mistake, I believe, is that after receiving an offer they have attached a price tag. Compare this to Harry Redknapp who, I believe, is still holding firm that Modric is not for sale and has not named a price at all. Now, Modric may well be sold, but Spurs will be waiting to see what clubs are willing to pay. When a suitable offer comes in, they may consider it, but the other clubs sniffing around will not assume that they can get him at a certain price.
Downing has now been given a value and he is now effectively in the club shop window, available to all that may want to pay that price. Instead of letting offers come in and keep rejecting them until one comes in that is truly worth accepting, the stance should be that he is a Villa player and he is not for sale.
Downing’s transfer request means nothing- he signed a contract and it is up to Villa if he is sold. His form will not drop, otherwise he could find himself back in the Championship where we dragged him from (not likely, but possible).
My estimation, realistically, is that if Henderson is worth £20m and Carroll is worth £35m there is no disputing that Downing is worth at least £30m. I do not think he is actually worth that, but when compared to the other two acquisitions they have made it is a fair valuation. Downing is almost as good as Carroll may prove to be, and he is a far better asset than Henderson. Honest Liverpool fans would agree.
I think it is an insult for Kenny to put in such a paltry offer, and if I happened to be the owner of Villa I would not sell him to Liverpool now on general principle (unless they offered £50million).