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Star man departs Boleyn as West Ham look forward

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Stewart Downing Ryan Bertrand Southampton

Stewart Downing is about to rejoin his boyhood club Middlesbrough for a fee believed to be around £5 million.

Downing has been a decent performer for the Hammers for the past two seasons and really excelled in the first half of last season, operating superbly at the tip of the diamond, feeding the likes of Sakho and Valencia up front.

He justifiably earned his recall to the England international team and produced a number of memorable performances for the Hammers in 2014/15. His goal against Leicester City at home and his inspiring performance away to Stoke City were highlights in what was a very successful season for the 30 year-old.

It may come as a surprise that Downing is leaving and also dropping down a division but the deal does make sense on both sides. To be fair to West Ham, they were probably not expecting an offer of that sum to come in for a player who is now entering the twilight stages of his career. The package Downing will get at Boro is an inviting one and it means he can rejoin his old club where he himself admitted there was ‘unfinished business’ when he left them for Villa in 2009.

Although some fans may be slightly disappointed that Downing is leaving, it does free up the wage bill and adds further funds to the transfer pot, which could ultimately lead to the club signing a player that will add further value to the side both now and in the future. Downing was clearly one of the stars of last season but cashing in on him now is a shrewd move, although the club needs to reinvest that money wisely.

There are rumours of a move for Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez and he is the sort of player that would thrive at Upton Park. He’s a real goal-getter and alongside Sakho, they could form a formidable partnership. It is doubtful that West Ham are the only club seriously interested in a player of Hernandez’s calibre but the money raised from Downing’s sale means that the club are more prepared to make concrete offers quickly.

Signing a striker would mean that the Hammers’ business would be close to completion for the summer period but there are still positions that are in desperate need of strengthening. There is a real lack of width in the side and Downing’s departure only increases the issues in this area. At right-back, Jenkinson is obviously a solid capture but he needs good competition. Joey O’Brien is a good squad player but for the team to improve, another young, promising right-sided defender needs to come in.

Who should West Ham look to? Is it the right move to let Downing go?

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  • Beckton Geoff says:

    I fully understand what Mr gold and Mr Sullivan are doing when it comes to downing , but I’m not sure it’s the right move with all the extra game’s we’ve got coming our way, and also selling downing and not Nolan just doesn’t make sense to me , but having said that who would buy Nolan anyway ?

    • Simon says:

      I have to say im not at all fussed that Downing is being sold – as much as last season was far more promising than the previous seasons he has been with us, the truth is the diamond system is the only system he played well in, anything else he was too inconsistent, he isnt versatile enough to be a solid playmaker, or number 10 as they say, out wide he too often fell off the radar and he has never been the best at his defensive duties – 5 mil is a great price for him and not to he sniffed at, there are also add ons if Boro get promoted, plus we remove a chunky weekly wage from the books – with Payet here he was never going to be a regular and at a soon to be 31yo this move makes perfect sense and to get a return we wouldnt otherwise see its good business – lets not forget we also have Zarate back who play behind a front line plus we will have another option of a deal already agreed, a young, skilful and very talented player who is likely to be announced on loan with a view to buy later this week – its also highly likely that both Jarvis and Nolan will be moved on this window, but it will probably happen late on, Nolan wont get much if anything but we will clear the wages off the books – our priority now has to be a forward which we are taking seriously with a number of targets, personally i hope we can tempt Hernandez, he is exactly the type of forward we need, i seriously doubt Austin will be seriously targeted unless all other options fail, not at 15 mil, although a player(s) and cash deal could see it done if QPR accept but they seem to be hanging out for the cash so that deal could drag out for the window – (with Benteke’s future in the balance at VIlla that could be the move that sparks Austin’s future) – but once Nolan and Jarvis are offloaded and more room is made we can bolster the squad with more additions that suit our needs to improve the squad quality and depth as opposed to hanging onto those who in our new reality just make up the squad numbers and only called on if required – Obrien is another who is on the fringes with Nolan and Jarvis, with our expected fixture list this season we need cover, but we also need better options to call on and fight for places – this window had been fantastic already, by the end i believe its going to be even better – COYI

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