It’s only two games in, but Danny Ings has yet to kick a ball for Liverpool in anger and will presumably be back on the bench against Arsenal tonight. It could be a long season for him.
Sure, at Spurs, he would be behind Our Lord and Saviour Harry Kane in the pecking order, but he’d have had a good run out by now. My guess, he would have started at Old Trafford with Kane far from match-fit, and he would have seen plenty of minutes against Stoke and especially Leicester.
Even if, as looks likely, Spurs sign Saido Berahino, a three-man strike force of Kane, Ings and Berahino would be versatile and surely offer plenty of playing time to all three through the season. Mauricio Pochettino likes a goalscoring wideman in the Jay Rodriguez mold. All three are capable of playing either number 10 or wide, as well as up top, as they’ve shown for England U-21s. Spurs options on both flanks are so underwhelming — Nacer Chadli aside. The thought of Chadli switching to the right, Ings on the left cutting inside in the Rodriguez manner and Berahino impacting off the bench is an intriguing one, to put it mildly.
At Liverpool, Ings is behind Christian Benteke and Daniel Sturridge in the striker pecking order, not to mention Roberto Firmino. Liverpool also want to give time to Divock Origi, another prospect. Meanwhile they have Jordan Ibe, Lazar Markovic, Philippe Coutinho and Adam Lallana in the attacking midfield/wideman roles. Liverpool also have Mario Balotelli on the payroll, and Fabio Borini is still there I believe, although presumably they will want to shift the both of them by the deadline.
I wonder if Ings is regretting his decision to go to Liverpool rather than Spurs yet? Sure, the money is far better at Liverpool and it is a marginally bigger club (although not in terms of recent league positions), but that surely doesn’t sufficiently compensate for the lack of action he faces. I fear he was badly advised by his agent, or Liverpool offered false promises about the summer transfer strategy. Or, more likely, Liverpool was making up its transfer strategy on the hoof through the summer…
If he is regretting his move, is it too late to change his mind and come to Spurs?
It’s not quite as mad as it sounds.
For starters, no fee has yet been set or paid to Burnley from what I have read. With Spurs bidding £12 million, and Burnley having to spend £9 million on Andre Gray, a striker with one year of experience in the Championship, to replace him, the bargain fee of £5 million that Liverpool likely budgeted for seems sure to be inflated. One assumes there must be a bottom to the pit of money Liverpool are spending, although perhaps not.
Second, while I’m not sure on the rules of being transferred twice in the same window, he could definitely leave on loan with a full deal agreed for January.
This could be a tidy solution for all parties: Liverpool turn a quick profit on a player they don’t need, and Spurs get another bloody striker. Spurs could, say, make up the difference between what the tribunal settles on, and what it bid to Burnley.
I believe Liverpool are still down a fair few million on the hilarious Robbie Keane deal a while back, so we could perhaps just call it even?
Ings joins a team that actually needs him and where he can develop properly alongside a bunch of his England U-21 buddies. England gets one of its most promising young strikers playing regularly.
Now of course, I’m sure Ings will not want to swallow his pride that quickly, and ego will dictate that he sticks it out for at least a year. He’ll get the odd game in the Europa League, and both Benteke and Sturridge are injury prone.
But Danny, if you are starting to feel a twinge of regret, you are still welcome down at the Lane.
(I flopped this one into F365 mailbox as well earlier)