If there was one player to watch over the January transfer window, strictly for the entertainment value, it was Tom Ince. Few brought more head-scratching intrigue than the young English winger—though that entertainment came less from anything Tom himself did than from his father Paul's involvement.
Never shy about presenting his son as England's next great attacking hope—perhaps England's Messi, to grab on to the most common label for young attacking talents around the globe—Ince, Sr., did his best to make his son's hilariously drawn-out arrival at Crystal Palace as interesting as possible.
There were the ludicrous whispers early in the window that French big spenders Monaco and PSG wanted Ince, with those whispers coming from English media with no ties to the French clubs and plenty of suspicion that it was Tom's dad doing the whispering. Late on, Liverpool were added to the mix.
On deadline day, having recently been fired from Blackpool via text message, Paul drove his son around all day while attempting to force Blackpool to allow Tom to head to Palace on loan while his contract ran down rather than allowing any profit to be made via a permanent move to a willing Stoke City.
In the end, Paul got his way and Tom went to Palace on Loan and Blackpool will get no more than compensation for the player when his contract ends in a few months. Oh, and just in case you were wondering, Liverpool were still totally in for Tom when he chose Palace. Probably Monaco too, with Falcao out.
"Liverpool were in but I don’t think Thomas is ready to go to Liverpool yet," insisted Paul Ince. "Brendan has done very well there and he does play the kids but for his progression as a footballer it needed to be a Stoke, a Swansea, a Palace, or a Hull at this point. Maybe in two or three years that might be a move for him."
Well, okay then. I'm sure Liverpool fans around the globe—not to mention Monaco's, and probably Manchester United and Real Madrid fans, too, for good measure—can't wait until Paul's dad says they really really for real want his son in the summer only to have him to end up at newly promoted Leicester City.