Danny Ings recently agreed his free transfer, subject to compensation, from Burnley to Liverpool, having had a decent season, scoring 11 goals for a struggling team, though his form dipped in the latter stages of the season.
There's no doubt this will be an astute signing for Liverpool, having signed themselves a cheap, hard working center forward who scored more goals than their entire current selection last season.
But can he develop into the answer to Liverpool's striking woes, or will he simply be a capable reserve? Him and Liverpool certainly appear to be a decent fit on paper, with Liverpool in dire need of a quality striker who can score goals, and Ings needing to go to a club where he will get the game time he requires to progress, as well as stepping up a level in quality. But will it prove to be a match made in heaven, or a match born out of necessity and convenience?
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Ings' first season in the Premier League has hinted that he has the quality to score goals consistently in one of the hardest leagues in the world, and he matches this nose for goal with a willingness to work hard for his team. This later attribute will be important at Liverpool. Playing the central striker role alone, with two wide players and an attacking midfielder providing support, requires a willingness to work hard, often with no reward and little support.
This is something Ings can provide, and if he can continue scoring goals, which will be made easier by having the likes of Coutinho providing for him, he could prove to be a very astute signing indeed.
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Time is also on his side. He is still in his early 20s, and has his best years ahead of him. But it should be remembered that he hardly set the world alight in the Championship with Burnley or Bournemouth.
Though he has played well over the past couple of years, helping Burnley gain promotion, his goals to games ratio is around 1 goal in 3 games (38 in 122 for Burnley, and 7 in 27 for Bournemouth). Though this is respectable, this is hardly the goals/games ratio of a world beating striker, who can fire Liverpool into the Champions League and a title challenge next season.
Though Ings certainly shouldn't be written off, he will need to improve drastically if he wants to cement a starting berth next season at Anfield. He will face a (hopefully) fit again Daniel Sturridge, as well as Divock Origi, a young Belgian who seems to have a bright future ahead of him. Perhaps Brendan Rodgers will change his system if Sterling leaves, to accommodate an extra central striker. If there is a system change, Ings could prove to be the perfect fodder for a rejuvenated and fit again Sturridge, Ings providing the energy and a secondary goal scoring threat, while Sturridge provides the explosive pace and trickery.
If Liverpool truly want to be a team competing for top honors, Danny Ings probably will not fulfill their needs, unless he drastically improves. But he will no doubt be a quality reserve, who can push for first team football.