There is a lot of doubt amongst Liverpool fans when it comes to the signing of Burnley striker Danny Ings. Not so much as to whether Ings is a good player—most do consider him a solid upgrade on the club’s current depth options and a player with at least some upside. Rather, the doubts revolve around the fact that he doesn’t solve a real need.
He arrives as a new Plan B, replacing Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini, but the club still need a Plan A to lead because they can no longer count on Daniel Sturridge staying fit. It might seem sensible to wait until the end of the summer and see where things end up, but that’s what Reds fans did last summer. And last summer ended without a proper Plan A striker being brought it.
Last summer was also followed up by the worst start to a season in the club’s modern history, a whimpering limping out of a manageable Champions League group, domestic cup failure, and a disappointing sixth-place league finish. A bit of nervousness, then, is entirely understandable. Maybe even sensible. But ex-Red Jamie Carragher at least is feeling optimistic about Ings.
"He did very well at Burnley," said Carragher when asked about the club’s official website asked him about the new striker signing. "You could see his hold-up play and his work ethic, and when he got chances he finished more often than not. He had a very good season, [and] he’s someone Brendan Rodgers knows from the lower leagues from years before."
Many are hopeful that, as Ings appears to be a player rated by Liverpool’s manager, he will be given chances even if he doesn’t hit the ground running at his new club. On the other hand, Fabio Borini and Rickie Lambert both arrived at the club as players Rodgers rated highly—both were widely considered signings Rodgers was the driving force behind—but both soon found themselves out of favour.
Borini was a player Rodgers knew from his days at the Chelsea academy, and the manager pushed for his signing when he first arrived at the club and before a scouting team had been installed. It only took a few months for Borini to find himself out of favour. Rickie Lambert, similar to Ings, was a player Rodgers knew from the lower leagues. And he didn’t get many chances.
"It will be up to him when he gets chances to try to get goals that will cement him in the first team," added Carragher, and hopefully Ings does, lest he become the latest spare part stuck to the bench—or in the stands. Because despite the doubts, Ings isn’t a bad player. He just isn’t a player who seems ready to start every week for a side that wants to finish in the top four.
Hopefully, that doesn’t mean that he ends up like all the other potentially useful strikers Liverpool have had in recent seasons of which the same could be said. Hopefully, Carragher is right and Danny Ings isn’t the next Borini or Lambert or Iago Aspas—another three or seven or ten million pounds wasted on a depth player who spends his Liverpool career watching from the sidelines.