Rumours linking Tom Ince to Liverpool ran rampant throughout January, all insisting that a deal in the £6M range—and with a third of the fee covered by the sell-on fee included in the deal that took Ince from Liverpool to Blackpool in 2011—was on the verge of being finalised. Then the window snapped shut, leaving fans to wonder just how much substance there had been to a month's worth of rumour mongering.
A few weeks later, the player's father was installed as manager of Blackpool Football Club, further cooling prospects that Ince would be moving any time soon as well as casting further doubts on the validity of those January rumours. And now, Tom Ince has spoken out, insisting that a move in January was never as close as those on the outside looking in believed it to be.
"I don’t think any of the moves were close," he said. "It’s great having that speculation and it’s very flattering. To have teams of that magnitude saying you’re a decent player, it gives me a smile and flatters me a lot. For me though it’s about putting my faith in Blackpool because without that club, my team-mates and the fans I wouldn’t be Football League Young Player of the Year and the player I am now."
Ince was named young player of the year on Sunday night, and despite that Blackpool are adrift in mid-table in the Championship, few still expect him to make a move to Liverpool in the summer. The winger does see his future in the Premier League eventually, but with his father now in charge at he appears willing to give the Seasiders at least one more year to make it back to the top flight while he's still on the payroll.
"My dream is to play at the top level and to achieve my ambitions," he admitted, "but it’s all about timing and patience so when you get to the top you are ready to go and not jumping too soon."