As you're probably aware, Liverpool are to sign Burnley and England U21 striker Danny Ings subject to a medical. Liverpool fans and those with a tactical mind will be pondering how manager Brendan Rodgers will fit Ings into the Liverpool team. So, where will Ings fit in?
Currently Liverpool’s striking options consist of Daniel Sturridge, Mario Balotelli and Rickie Lambert added to these three will of course be Ings and the forgotten young Belgian Divock Origi who will return to Anfield after a year on loan at Lille. This leaves Liverpool with five striking options. Towards the latter stages of the season, Liverpool adopted a 4-3-3 formation having played most of the season in a 3-4-3. This obviously leaves just one spot available for Rodgers to pick from a pool of five players.
The bad news for Ings is if Sturridge is fit then he won’t be first choice. The good news? He’s probably going to be second choice. Given the injury history that Sturridge has, Ings will be most prominent in the starting line up during Liverpool’s Europa League campaign. This will give him a platform to prove his ability and give Rodgers a predicament.
Now, on paper, Liverpool appear to have struck gold with this deal. A young English striker with Premier League experience and an eye for goal, however this signing seems to have split the Anfield faithful. Many are citing that he is not a top 4 signing, although the harsh truth is that currently Liverpool are not a top 4 side. It seems unfair to cast doubts on Ings before he’s wore the Liverpool shirt, but in a struggling and less creative Burnley side he scored 11 goals. When you have the likes of Coutinho, Lallana, Henderson and possibly Sterling as your creative outlets you’re guaranteed chances and Ings will take them.
An area in which Liverpool struggled last season was against the bottom half of the Premier League, teams such as West Brom and Crystal Palace. Ings scored on a regular basis against the lower end sides of the Premier League. The England international also notched goals against Manchester United and Everton. If he can do that in the red of Liverpool he will quickly become a fan favourite.
With all this in mind, why was there social media uproar against the signing of Ings when both Tottenham and Manchester United expressed their interest in the Burnley striker? Is it because he’s not a big name? Possibly. Maybe because he played for a team that ended up relegated? Possibly. While he may not ‘cut it’ immediately at Liverpool there is a chance he could adopt the ‘Loic Remy at Chelsea’ role - scoring whenever he comes off the bench but not overthrowing Sturridge in the process.
Whilst Ings may not significantly improve Liverpool it certainly is a no risk signing. Ings offers the potential for re-sale and also has plenty of room to develop due to his young age.
I firmly believe Ings will reach double figures for Liverpool in all competitions. It’s baffling that the signing of a young English striker who outscored all of Liverpool’s frontmen combined in the 2014/2015 campaigns is being laughed at. He’s not the exciting name Liverpool fans wanted, and he’s not Cristian Benteke, but Ings will bring plenty of positives. He won’t set the world alight but he wasn’t bought in to do that. Ings will prove the doubters wrong. I'm certain of that.
By Callum Read – @