clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Danny Ings Cannot be the Answer

New, comments

As part of a larger strategy, Danny Ings isn’t a bad signing. He may even be a good one. But if Liverpool fail to bring in the proven goalscorer they need he will go down as another in a long line of mistakes.

Jan Kruger/Getty Images

Danny Ings is a solid player with the potential to perhaps grow into a very good striker over the next few years. As a backup or rotation option or even the second striker in a pairing with a more proven partner there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Liverpool having agreed a deal to make him their second signing of the summer following earlier news that veteran midfielder James Milner would arrive on July 1st.

With Daniel Sturridge set to start the season on the injured list after a year spent largely sidelined by one knock after another, though, Liverpool currently have no striker they can count on as the man who starts week in and week out—or who provides the more proven half of the partnership alongside a player like Ings or Divock Origi. And there is nothing really wrong with that, either. It is, after all, early days—the transfer window isn’t even officially open yet.

There’s plenty of time for Liverpool to bring in the top striker they desperately need and which they failed so completely to sign last summer when Luis Suarez departed. And that second part, really, is the problem. It's what has Reds fans sitting nervously, looking at Ings and feeling nothing so much as doubt and disappointment about a quite decent player. Because Danny Ings cannot be the answer for who lines up up top when Sturridge can't. And there are fears he will be.

Fears built on last summer’s failings in the market, when the club brought in a supposed bargain depth option in Rickie Lambert and followed it up by failing miserably at figuring out a proper Plan A. They missed on Alexandre Lacazette, saw Loic Remy’s deal fall through, and had their interest in Wilfried Bony—a striker who seemed a poor fit but was nevertheless a highly rated target—rebuffed by Swansea. In desperation, they ended up with Mario Balotelli.

It’s a situation Liverpool have found themselves in far too often. In some cases, as with the signing of Iago Aspas, it doesn’t much matter in the end the club have spent three or five or seven million on ineffective depth. In others, like having to bring in a bargain like David N’Gog because the owners at the time wouldn’t free up funds for anything better or wasting £10M on Fabio Borini, it has clearly hurt Liverpool’s ability to compete the following season.

And so now Liverpool have brought in Danny Ings, their latest cheap striker. Their latest rotation option. The latest gamble on a relative bargain who appears to have some definite upside but who almost nobody would suggest is right now a suitable front-line striker for a side looking to get back into the top four. Which isn’t a problem if Liverpool can, having told the world what Plan B is for next season, now find themselves a suitable Plan A.

Danny Ings is not a poor signing as part of a larger transfer strategy. He could even end up a very good one. But the past offers many discouraging omens when it comes to Liverpool's striker signings, and if the club again fail to bring in a proven goalscorer this summer as they did last, the result will almost certainly be the same: another wasted season and another three or five or seven million down the drain to bring in a new flavour of depth.