I'm not in any disagreement with anything you've said Hobs, and I'm sure you'd recall, much like many more of us, he was far from my first choice that summer when looking for wingers with Arda Turan practically begging/offering to pay his own plane ticket (self admitted childhood fan), Ashley (though always Utd), Mata (at least worth sniffing around), and others.. especially the horror of paying 19M for him, so I wouldn't lose any sleep over it, but I have to give him credit for being our most improved, and regardless of who likes him or not, a lot of that is down to BR too. I just think that unless 8-10 comes in, and that might be a lot, it may be less expensive, considering I'd guarantee he's asked to re-work his wage packet from 70-80k down to 40-50, to just keep him on, especially when we probably / presumably will sell Assaidi. I'd seen the guy play a bit in Netherlands, and he was very impressive, but the fact he's barely gotten on the bench says something about him since he made AFCON and was only injured once that we know of...
Also, Sterling will be stronger and more mature, but not sure he's in for a 30+ game season yet, Suso is way out of his waters out wide where he's more the Silva with that silky movement and ball stuck to his foot.. So, I think 1 more year with Downing couldn't hurt considering he could fetch 6M in 2 years vs 8-10 this year. Of course like I said, if his fee is enough to fund Ince and Sinclair, or 2 others, then adios muchacho.. Like Loki pointed out from me mentioning Fischer, if Eriksen goes, which isn't definite, he would never be sold, but I mentioned him as a young, but very classy alternative should Eriksen stay, and perhaps one we were looking at amongst the 3..
Shame about Alderweideld if true.. think he could have been class, BUT I always prefer Skrtel when he's in form, so we'll see what he can do, albeit at his less favored LCB. I think if he stays, which I hope, he and Agger can return to last year's form, then we should be in for someone with experience and some years left, and maybe a youth who's more likely to adjust rather than Coates. Then we'll have Wisdom and Kelly as reserves at CB and RB. If Skrtel stays and we buy 1, I think we're in ok shape there..
I think it's out wide where we need someone who can just blow by their marker, and/or stand them up, and turn them inside out, while interchanging with the front 3-4.. A lot of noise we may sign the Chilean Marcos Rojas after visiting Melbourne this summer for 1M.. from what I've seen and heard and being 20, he's dynamite and a can't go wrong for 1M.. But now we have the whole Reina discussion to start up, and also who we might consider as a LB unless Robbo returns from Wolves and nails it down. Could always try for our favorite Argentine, Insua, who's at Atletico now! =)