Liverpool boss Rodgers keen for Stewart Downing to stay

'Excellent' Liverpool impress Rodgers

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers says there is no reason for Stewart Downing to leave the club if he continues his current form.

Winger Downing, 28, scored his first Premier League goal and registered his first top-flight assist for the Reds in the win over Fulham.

" I thought he was brilliant [against Fulham]," said Rodgers.

"If he keeps playing like that then he'll be in the team so there's no need for him to leave to get a game."

Martin Skrtel put Liverpool in front against the Cottagers before Downing set up Steven Gerrard to extend the home side's lead.

A powerful shot from Downing and a late Luis Suarez goal completed the victory as Liverpool moved up to eighth, five points off the top four.

Downing, signed from Aston Villa for a fee believed to be in the region of £20m in the summer of 2011, Dhad claimed he had been told he could leave the Merseyside club with the January transfer window coming up.

But Rodgers has been pleased with the response to a recent conversation between the pair.

"Stewart's been brilliant, he's a real good guy," explained the Liverpool boss.

"I want him to be a part of the group here but at his age, we talked about him playing regularly and if the opportunity had come for him to go then him and I would look at it.

"But the reaction from that conversation six or seven weeks ago has been outstanding.

"I always have wanted him to stay. It's not about me pushing him out of the door - he's a quality player.

"When you arrive in the latter part of your 20s you want to be playing regularly and obviously he wasn't at the time."