News in the past week broke that 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.
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 later stages of the season Liverpool adopted a 4-3-3 formation, despite 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 probably 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 citing that he is not a top 4 signing, the harsh truth is currently Liverpool are not a top 4 side. It seems unfair to cast doubts on Ings before he’s wore the Liverpool shirt, in a struggling and less creative Burnley side, Ings 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 of the Premier League, he also notched goals against Manchester United and Everton. If he can do that in the Liverpool red he will quickly become a fan favourite.
Given all this why the 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 got relegated? Possibly. Whilst 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 resale 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 strikers combined in the 2014/2015 campaigns is being laughed at. Whilst he’s not the exciting name Liverpool fans wanted, and he’s not Christian Benteke, Ings will bring plenty of positives, he won’t set the world alight but he wasn’t brought in to do that. Ings could well prove the social media world wrong.
Article written by: @callumread