At the start of last campaign, midfielder Kevin Stewart was very much part of Jurgen Klopp’s plans at Liverpool.
The former Spurs youngster found himself in the Red’s first five Premier League matchday squads whilst featuring three times in the League Cup.
The end of October 2016 marked Stewart’s importance to the Liverpool team when he was offered a new long-term contract, one which he agreed to after becoming a regular of match day squads.
Since then, however, game time has been hard to come by for the 23-year-old. The midfielder only managed a sniff of first-team football during the Reds’ short run in the FA Cup, playing the full 90 in both games against Plymouth.
Lack of senior action may suggest the Anfield No.35 has now become surplus to requirements, meaning an exit this summer is more than likely on the cards.
It’s not like Stewart struggled when the opportunity of playing arose either, it was very much the opposite. His defensive and rare attacking attributes demonstrated why Liverpool pinned him down to a new deal.
Klopp’s men will be playing Champions League football next season whilst having one eye on the title so there is a chance he could feature in the cup fixtures again. However, it may be time for the midfielder to start seeking regular, league football considering he is now 23-years-old.
To put that into perspective, Stewart is the same age as Emre Can, older than Divock Origi and only two years younger than Philippe Coutinho, yet he is still a country mile away from reaching their level.
There is a chance if the midfielder moves to another Premier League side he could be granted regular football but after failing to make a name for himself on Merseyside, it’s not worth taking the risk.
Therefore, Stewart should be looking to join a Championship outfit this summer. It may not be the most glamorous of moves considering the status of his current club but for a player turning 24 in three months, it needs to happen for the sake of saving his career.
The only thing seemingly stopping a transfer to England’s second tier is the hefty price Liverpool value him at after reports suggested he’s considered to be worth around £10m
A team who reportedly has Stewart on their shortlist is Championship side Aston Villa however, it seems they haven’t reignited their interest during the early stages of this window though there is still a long way to go.
Spending may be an issue at Villa Park, though if they can raise funds, they’d surely be one of few second tier sides who could offer big wages.
The long-term contract does suggest that Klopp still wants the midfielder in his Liverpool squad next season so if any move was to occur during this window, a loan may be the most probable outcome but it is clear that staying in the Premier League may prove to be the wrong decision for Stewart.
If Villa are wise, they’ll reignite their reported interest.