A few short years ago, the career of Premier League footballer Danny Ings looked dangerously close to being over. His excellent form at Burnley earned him a move to Liverpool, but what should have been a fantastic experience for the striker quickly turned into a nightmare. He injured his cruciate knee ligament not long after arriving at Anfield – a career-ending injury in itself for some players – and then required knee surgery the following summer. His Liverpool career never got off the ground, and in 2018 he was farmed out on loan to struggling Southampton in the hope it would improve his fortunes. Fortunately for both Ings and Southampton, he took to St. Mary’s Stadium like a duck to water.
In his three years at Southampton, Ings has become one of the most dependable strikers in the Premier League, averaging a goal every two games in a team that isn’t known for creating goalscoring chances. He’s on the fringes of the England squad but wasn’t selected for Euro 2020. When next season begins, Ings will be 29 years old. Time is running out for him to fulfil his potential, and he clearly believes he’s good enough to be playing both for England and for a club that plays Champions League football. Because of that, he’s turned down Southampton’s offer of a new contract. With twelve months to run on his current deal, Southampton is now likely to cash in on him this summer rather than risk losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
With Ings likely to be on the move, the big question is where he’s likely to move to. Leaving a club where you’re the “main man” is a risk for any player. It’s like loading up a game at an online slots website and hitting ‘spin,’ never knowing what might happen when the reels settle down. Ings is betting on himself – effectively the same thing as any online slots player does – but he knows there’s a chance he’ll lose. When former Southampton player Rickie Lambert left Southampton for Liverpool at a similar age, it was effectively the end of his time as a first-choice footballer. He spent most of his time at Anfield on the bench. Ings won’t want that fate for himself. Still, though, there are as many winners playing online slots at Rose Slots Canada as there are losers. Ings wouldn’t have turned down the contract if he didn’t fancy his chances, so let’s see how it might work out for him.
Spurs may yet lose Harry Kane this summer. If they do, they’ll need a proven Premier League striker immediately. Ings would be the ideal choice. It would be a step up from Southampton for Ings and a chance to be part of a rebuilding project at Spurs as the club attempts to return to Champions League qualification. Ings would be Spurs’ first-choice striker in the absence of Kane, and with Son playing behind him, he should find chances to score easier to come by than he does with his current club. Spurs may still want Ings even if Kane stays, as the club struggles whenever the England captain is injured, but a backup role may not appeal as much to Ings.
Ings is believed to be a Chelsea fan, and Chelsea need a replacement for the ageing Olivier Giroud. Out-of-favour striker Tammy Abraham might leave Stamford Bridge this summer, too. That will leave Chelsea in need of more firepower, and Ings might be the man to provide it. He’s not the sort of glamorous signing that Chelsea fans have become accustomed to, but that won’t matter so long as he finds the back of the net on a regular basis. Ings might not immediately displace Timo Werner in the starting line-up at Chelsea, but Thomas Tuchel won’t put up with the goal-shy German’s poor form forever. As is the case with Spurs, this is a logical move for both the player and the club.
On paper, the idea of Ings moving to Premier League champions Manchester City looks ridiculous. In practice, it might make all the sense in the world. Guardiola’s City team doesn’t always play with an out-and-out striker, but there’s a vacancy for one after the departure of club legend Sergio Aguero. The whole world knows that Guardiola would like to sign Erling Haaland from Borussia Dortmund, but Dortmund will fight tooth and nail to keep him. Ings would be available at a fraction of Haaland’s cost and can be relied upon to put the ball in the back of the net when called upon. He’s probably a better striker than Gabriel Jesus and would provide the Blues with strength in depth.
Might a move to Manchester City’s neighbor’s suit Ings better? Manchester United isn’t exactly short of attacking options after adding Jadon Sancho to their ranks, but Edinson Cavani is in his mid-30s and is only likely to stick around for one more season at Old Trafford before moving on to finish his career in South America. Neither Mason Greenwood nor Marcus Rashford are strikers in the truest sense of the word, so Ings would give the Red Devils a viable alternative for Cavani and, after he’s gone, a longer-term replacement. United could easily afford the expected £25m asking price and might decide that this is the perfect opportunity to land a proven goalscorer.
West Ham United
The odds on Ings ending up at the London Stadium are probably longer than the odds of him ending up at any of the other clubs we’ve mentioned, but hear us out. West Ham narrowly missed out on Champions League qualification last season. They look better under David Moyes than they have for decades and have ambitions to kick on and climb to even greater heights next season. On top of that, there’s absolutely no doubt that Ings would become the club’s number one striker. With no disrespect intended to Michail Antonio, Jarrod Bowen, Said Benrahma or Andriy Yarmolenko, the club’s current forwards aren’t on Ings’ level. A few more goals at the right time last season would have seen West Ham reach the promised land. Having Danny Ings might get them there next time.
Spurs looks like the most likely move to us, but we wouldn’t be shocked to see him end up in Manchester. West Ham and Chelsea are probably less likely, but not impossible. Whatever happens, though, he’s probably kicked a ball for Southampton for the last time.