5 Sept 2015

Legend blasts: £6m LFC star is 'average' and Liverpool don't 'need him'. Harsh or fair?

After a protracted transfer from Burnley, Summer signing Danny Ings is already struggling for first-team football at Anfield, and Arsenal legend John Hartson is convinced that Brendan Rodgers has made yet another error in the transfer market.

In a Friday interview with Talksport on Friday, Hartson argued that Ings is an unnecessary purchase. He explained:

"Look at Liverpool: how much did they really need Danny Ings? What’s the point? Ings hasn’t kicked a ball for Liverpool.

"Arsene Wenger doesn’t work like that. He protects the club’s money. He doesn’t just waste money on bang average players".

Ings - who will reportedly end up costing Liverpool £6m - has been granted only 30 minutes of pitch-time so far this season, which is totally different from last season, when he played practically every game for Burnley.

This is what happens, though, when barely established young players move to big clubs before they've achieved anything significant in the game.

Liverpool is a hard club to turn down, but Benteke and Sturridge in the squad, Ings will struggle for regular game-time this season, and that will probably stunt his development.

Granted, Sturridge is injury prone, and there's a strong chance he'll get injured again at some point this season, but even if that happens, Rodgers rarely play two up-front, so either way, Ings still faces a season of bench duty.

Hartson is harsh with his assessment, though. Ings is not 'average' - he's a proven Premier League goalscorer, although his figures for last season are not that great:

* 11 goals/ 4 assists in 37 apps (goal/assist every 2.4 games)

* Goal every 282 minutes.

Did Liverpool need Ings? The club certainly needed new striker to replace Lamber, Borini, and Balotelli, all three of whom have now left the club.

In terms of ability to make an impact for Liverpool under Rodgers, Ings is arguably an upgrade on Lambortelli, but it remains to be seen whether he'll get the chance to consistently prove that this year.

In my view, Ings made a mistake signing for Liverpool. He'll toil away for a couple of years, getting games every now and again, but ultimately, he'll get fed up with being a bit-part player and leave.

If Ings - described by Jamie Redknapp as 'fantastic' - gets a chance against Manchester United, he has to grab it with both hands, and really stake his claim for a place in the team.

That means scoring at least one goal, which should (in theory) ensure that he stays in the team. That's not how Rodgers works, though, and even if Ings grabs a brace, I'm sure he'll end up back on the bench.

After all, Rodgers has to accommodate James Milner, and nothing - absolute nothing - can be allowed to get in the way of that...

Author: Jaimie K


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