Bringing Danny Ings to Anfield is an astute move, but Liverpool still need to sign a more proven quality striker this summer, writes Ben Twelves.
Brendan Rodgers has moved swiftly to secure the signing of Danny Ings who will join on 1st July subject to a medical and compensation fee being agreed between the two clubs.
The addition of the England under-21 international has firmly split opinion amongst the fan base but the signing is undoubtedly a clever transfer deal from those in power at Anfield.
Having played for unfashionable sides, the latest being relegated Burnley, Ings could be viewed as an underrated player.
That’s not to say he is an exceptional talent who will drag Liverpool to Champions League qualification on his own by any means as he certainly will not, but he is a player that can contribute to that end goal.
He has already proven that he can score and perform regularly in the Premier League as he notched 11 and assisted four of Burnley’s 28 goals – meaning he had direct involvement in over half of the Clarets’ goals last season; an impressive amount for a side that struggled to hit the back of the net even more badly than ourselves.
It’s not just his goal-scoring know-how that makes him a suitable addition though. Ings is a decent all-round player and has attributes that make him an appealing prospect.
Danny Ings: Scored at least 2 more goals (11) than any Liverpool player managed in the Premier League last season; Steven Gerrard (9) #LFC
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 8, 2015
He’s technically sound, with his control and tidy footwork underrated, and combined with a decent though not blistering amount of pace and intelligent movement, he provides a mobile attacking outlet playing either as the furthest man forward, or slightly deeper off the front.
Also a brave player, not frightened to travel with the ball and attack space to make things happen, he was often seen carrying the fight for Sean Dyche’s side while shouldering the burden of trying to be the man to fire them to safety with his composure in front of goal at the same time.
The ex-Bournemouth man offers a tenacity and willingness to press opponents too – something Liverpool lack in the final third – and his selfless work-rate alongside his under-appreciated ability makes him a far better option than the alternatives to Daniel Sturridge last season that resulted in Raheem Sterling being shoved up top.
A player who is better than current back-up striking options, only going to improve at just 22 years of age and joining for a relatively small fee in the modern day footballing world; Ings represents a clever signing.
Happy enough with the Ings deal, on the basis he's a young striker with potential at a good price and assuming we've got more deals to come.
— Jim Boardman (@JimBoardman) June 8, 2015
That’s before even taking into consideration the potential re-sale value of which he will undoubtedly have a healthy amount, with his excellent contribution last season far from going unnoticed, and with his chances of international recognition set to now increase too following the switch to Merseyside.
If the move doesn’t go to plan and the striker fails to find his feet at Anfield, his impressive tally last season will have mid-table, relegation threatened, newly promoted clubs and those with the belief they could polish a rough diamond, all queuing up for his services.
His decent level of ability, cheapness, low-risk signing and the likelihood of recouping more than the compensation fee Liverpool will have to pay to smooth over a deal with the Championship side, certainly makes Ings a win-win recruit.
The Need for Genuine Quality Remains
While a clever recruit with Liverpool having everything to gain, Ings isn’t the direct answer to the Reds striking deficiencies.
It can’t be expected, and nor should it, that England under 21 striker and fellow incoming youngster Divock Origi can take the reins and perform at another level consistently in the absence of Daniel Sturridge who is out for the opening of the season, and should he suffer another injury hit campaign.
A striker of more proven pedigree still must be signed to rival and step in for Sturridge who cannot be relied upon, leaving Ings and Origi to offer Rodgers far more quality and inspiring alternatives in reserve than in the season finished. [td_ad_box spot_id=“custom_ad_3″]
The club have a job on their hands to attract the required level of talent, but it’s a task they must succeed in.
There are quality and realistic striking options out there to explore; Pierre Emmerick-Aubemayang, Carlos Bacca, Stefan Jovetic, Luciano Vietto and Gonzalo Higuain (it’s worth an ask) would all be signings of the right quality and immeasurably better options and most likely cheaper than Christian Benteke.
The signing of Danny Ings is decent one for Liverpool, but he must be followed in the door by another first choice option and striker of genuine quality.
Only then will there be any cause for optimism for the season ahead.