So, as it is, Danny Ings will become a Liverpool player come the 1st of July subject to a medical with a tribunal fee of around £5m to be paid. Liverpool fans generally have such a pessimistic attitude towards ANY transfer or change the club make; anyone from the players, to the coaches, all the way down to the kit man and the person who manages the Twitter comes under scrutiny from our fans. Danny Ings, as expected, has received a fairly negative initial reception from some fans, which is of course sure to boost his confidence and decrease the pressure of joining one of the biggest clubs in the world. Yep. Definitely. This was sure to be a case when we are essentially signing a Championship player. These were probably same fans clamoured for us to sign Falcao last season to replace Suarez. That turned out great. However, the more level headed fans can at least see some of the reasoning behind the transfer.
For all the criticism he comes in for it is quite evidence that Brendan Rodgers is a very talented coach. All of the players that were here before Rodgers reign have significantly improved, for example Flanagan, Sterling… he even added a new dimension to Gerrard’s game. Although most impressive was the almost monstrous transformation of Jordan Henderson. Remember that one time when we offered Fulham cash AND Henderson for their world class potent non-English finisher Clint Dempsey. Oh how we dearly missed out. Henderson is now more than likely set to be named captain. Oh, and Suarez’s finishing prior to Rodgers arrival was laughable. The point to be made here is that it’s fairly exciting to see what Rodgers can do with Ing’s, who has nowhere near finished developing as a player at the ripe age of 22. At just 2 years older than Sterling many fans are acting as though he’s a finished product. Rodgers has a particularly good success rate with English players evidently.
Obviously stats do not tell the whole story of a player’s ability with many other extraneous variables must be accounted for but the fact of the matter is that Ings accumulated more goals than Sturridge, Balotelli Lambert and Borini did put together. You could argue that Ings played more games than these players which is true, but only individually. Ings scored 11 goals in 35 Premier League games compared to an accumulative 7 in 40 appearance. However it must be said that in players such as Sturridges case it is obvious that performances must be affected by constant injury. Back to Ings, his potency a striker is clear as he surprisingly (in the case of Sturridge) has a better chance conversion rate than ALL of our strikers at 15%. He furthermore produced more assists than all of these players highlighting he’s also a team player, which is pivotal in our system (I say this, but under Rodgers he’ll probably be playing as inverted false wing back). All in all, achieving this in a team where he’s supplied by the ever flamboyant midfield maestros Dean Marney and George Boyd is no mean feat. He’s surely going to have much more joy playing with the likes of Coutinho, Lallana, Sterling(this is said in hope) and perhaps alongside Daniel Sturridge. Oh. Just a little fact; He also scored more than £28m Lukaku.
Looking at Danny Ings as a player, his characteristics suit the way we play. One difference in the title challenging season was the amount of success we surprisingly had coming aerially. The 6 goals we produced from set pieces last season indicates a stark contrast to THAT season and Danny Ings can aid to this aspect of our game. One of his main traits is his goal scoring ability with his head, looking back at the headed goals he scored he often did this with significant technical ability; not all were simple standard headers. This was of course aided by his movement, which I was very impressed at. He is very good at creating space for himself which can only capitalised on by our abundance of creative players, and as previously mentioned Rodgers has the chance to improve upon this and add more to his game. Saying that, we could have signed any player with two legs and they could have better movement that Balotelli. Okay, fine maybe one leg.
Finally, Ings can bring out the best in other players. Competition is always important as it pushes other players to optimise the effort they put in on both the pitch and the training ground. It also must be stressed that in all likeliness Ings is not going to be the only striker brought in, adding even further competition. With the return of Origi, that means we have 6 first team strikers (not including Sterling) some of which are surely going to have to be moved on. It’s no secret that Sturridge has fitness issues and Ings is more than an adequate back up to fill in, even to give the Sturridge a rest against a lower placed side which would be suited to Ings who had a great record against lower league teams. Of course, this all depends on the system we play.
There are no transfers in football that come to fruition with no risk element at all. More often than not a player coming from club with less stature has struggled to cope with the high expectations placed upon the clubs players. Admittedly, this isn’t helped by many of the modern day hot headed fans who are unwilling to give a player a chance before they’ve even pulled on a shirt. One mistake and it’s all over. It’s sad that quite often a player can get the impression their Liverpool career is over before it’s even started; it’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. Nevertheless, this is a problem and these said players have often failed to reproduce the form they have previously shown and ultimately end up failing at the club. This could be a huge problem with Ings. During Burnleys relegation battle, he refused to take a penalty out of fear of missing. This glaringly obvious lack of confidence is not something you want in your striker and this is only to be aggravated if the aforementioned point comes to realisation. Ing’s performances were also clearly affected when linked away with a move from Turf Moor. Now mentality is huge aspect of a players overall game, and so far Ings has shown to have the wrong one. Of course, such things could be avoided or minimised with Dr. Steve Peters on the scene and the correct coaching.
Lastly, the so called squad players have been horribly mismanaged in the past seasons. With players like Lambert and Balotelli coming in and then receiving hardly any significant amount of playing time in order for them to make a difference. Often Rodgers refused to use Lambert when in need of a goal, and in hindsight we really could’ve used the Balotelli and Lambert money elsewhere. Of course, this seemed like good business at the time. A further instance is Javier Manquillo. We knew Johnson was leaving at the beginning of the season. It was light at the end of the storm. Only for him to be continuously picked over a young player we had the potential to develop near enough the majority of the season. With Rodgers track record this could be the fate of Ings, his development could be in serious jeopardy here as I doubt at the age of 22 he wants to warm the bench. And when players like Jamie Vardy are being called in to the England squad it must be obvious to him this is a realistic aspiration. Unfortunately for Ings, the system we played last season seems to favour only on striker. As things stand he would miss out anyways to Sturridge and the impending arrival of another striker with further reduce his chances of starting. Then again, theres always the wingback spot.
I myself am fairly pleased with Ings arrival. It is in my opinion a smart acquisition. If Ings proves to be a success then great for us, but if not then it’s highly likely that we will be able to move him on for not much of a loss, or even a profit in todays inflated market. Looking at the overriding context of the move, we have signed a very decent player who gives Sturridge much needed competition and is potentially a starting player in the next few years for a low fee. He scored more than all of our strikers combined last season and I would go out on a limb and see he is not far from the new flavour of the season, Harry Kane.
Feel free to leave your thoughts.