As the current Premier League season reaches its conclusion; the Reds are being linked with players aplenty. Kevin Levingston examines the case for signing Danny Ings…
If you had asked most Manchester United fans earlier this season which squad positions most needed strengthening this summer; it’s fair to say that a new striker would not have been top of the priority list. Most would point to a more immediate need in the right-fullback, centre back and centre midfield positions before entertaining the idea of acquisitions in attack. However as the season has played out, an underperforming strike-force has highlighted the need for refreshing up front. With departures expected in the summer; it’s become clear that a new arrival is needed up top. Word is the Reds are in the market for a new senior striker and – perhaps surprisingly – it is Burnley’s Hythe born frontman Danny Ings that has been linked with a transfer. This has prompted a dismissive reaction in many quarters; Ings being deemed “not good enough” or “not United quality” by those who would prefer to see a more established superstar signing. Despite this, there are a number of reasons the striker would be a promising signing for the Red Devils.
Firstly; the cost of Ings signing would be minuscule by normal market comparisons. Suffice to say the £5million compensation payment due for the out-of-contract twenty-two year old is well below the going rate for a young, English talent with nine goals already to his name in his debut premier league season. Those nine goals are more impressive when you consider his playing for a struggling, relegation-threatened Burnley side. That he would be yet another name to add to our home-grown-in-nation list is another positive. United have quite a good record of success when signing young, premier-league-established English players. Ashley Young, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Michael Carrick, Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have all had varying levels of success but none have failed to establish themselves. Ings could well be the next young Englishman to carve out a career for himself at United alongside recent arrival Luke Shaw. Nathaniel Clyne may well be another.
What also must be taken into account is the role he would play in the Manchester United squad. With Falcao’s departure imminent and Robin Van Persie likely to follow suit, there is a gap to be bridged between thirty year old Wayne Rooney and nineteen year old James Wilson. Ings would be a strong backup and rotation option for the Captain whilst Wilson is allowed to develop. With the likely increase of games from next year’s Champions League he would also have more than enough opportunities to prove himself at a higher level and stake a claim for a starting position. Whilst his superb movement caught the eye this season at Old Trafford, the attacker’s all-round game and work-rate is equally likely to have endeared him to Louis Van Gaal. In thirty-three games this season; Ings has made twenty-three tackles, eleven clearances, four assists and created thirty-two chances overall. Philanthropist and social commentator John Ruskin once said “Quality is never an accident. It is always the result of intelligent effort.” In this regard he certainly appears to be the Dutchman’s type.
Almost everything points to this being a suitable acquisition for Manchester United. There is an opportunity to sign a young established home-grown talent who will most likely improve in the future. Signing Ings would strengthen the attack for a fraction of the normal cost and free up finance for the spending that will surely happen elsewhere. It is likely the Burnley frontman would make a strong contribution over the next few seasons but should he prove ultimately not capable enough for the top level then his sale would almost certainly be at a profit. Every signing is a risk; but this one is certainly a risk worth taking.
Kevin is a freelance blogger who occasionally disappears. You can follow him on twitter at @Kev_CTS.