Aston Villa confirmed the signing of Danny Ings this week, with Dean Smith given another top class option in the final third moving forward.
Villa suffered a blow as Jack Grealish’s move to Man City was finally confirmed on Thursday, but that was preceded by the shock arrival of Ings from Southampton, with the announcement from the club coming out of the blue.
With question marks still hanging over Wesley and Keinan Davis and their ability to offer a consistent source of goals for the team, there was seemingly going to be an over-reliance on Ollie Watkins to get our goals as the main striker in the side.
Adding Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey helps replace the creativity, movement and quality of Grealish in our build-up play, albeit it will have to slightly change now, while Ings now gives us another great option up top and perhaps even versatility in terms of the system and personnel that Smith goes with.
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Ings has scored 38 goals and provided seven assists in 75 appearances across all competitions in the last two seasons, and while he is now 29 and arrives for a hefty fee, his ability, experience and leadership will no doubt be pivotal on and off the pitch for Villa in the next few seasons.
The former Burnley and Liverpool man can play in different roles, score consistently and use his pace and movement to create openings and space for his teammates to cause problems for the opposition defence.
That in turn opens up the possibility of playing as part of a front three or with Watkins in a two-man partnership up front, giving Smith the option to change things and not be as rigid.
Whether it’s being deployed on the left wing or as the focal point up top, Ings can do a job, while the standard he’ll set in both training and on pitch can be seen as an example for the youngsters such as Louie Barry and Brad Young to follow too.
Villa need players who are proven in the Premier League or at a high level to come in and make an immediate impact to complement and improve the current squad and take us closer to the level we want to be competing at. Ings ticks those boxes and any further signings will likely do the same as we look for more certainty in terms of successful hits in the transfer market especially having just lost Grealish.
This is a really solid signing and a smart move from the club, with Ings now hopeful of staying fit and doing what he does best in terms of scoring goals on a consistent basis while also linking up with the likes of Bailey, Buendia and Watkins to form one of the most dangerous and potent attacks in the Premier League.