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Home or Away: What next for Danny Ings?



In late September, many people had already written off newly-promoted Burnley as dead certs for relegation. Without a win to their name, and more importantly just one goal in their opening five matches, they looked dead and buried.

However, their goal-shy start to the season was mostly due to the absence of super striker Danny Ings. The 2013/14 Championship player of the season’s return to the side reinvigorated Burnley, transforming them from goal-shy relegation favourites to a dangerous attacking side that holds a realistic hope of survival. His nine goals and four assists account for 54.2% of Burnley’s goals in the league, and five goals in his last six games show Ings is growing more and more comfortable in the Premier League environment. He is even being mooted for an England call-up for the end of March.

Ings’ prosperous spell with Burnley is to come to an end, however, as his contract expires this summer with no chance of the forward signing another one with the Clarets. The 22-year-old has offers from both home and abroad, but what would be the right move for this promising English centre forward?

Staying in England- Liverpool

Whilst there has been reported interest in Ings from both Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United, Liverpool looks the most likely destination for him should he choose to remain in England. Whilst the Reds failed to tie up a deal for Ings in January, they look certain to swoop in again in an attempt to avoid the striking problems they encountered early in this season.

Anfield is the preferred destination for Ings of Burnley manager Sean Dyche, who says that the Southampton born forward should be looking to play at a “top-end” Premier League club. Furthermore, Burnley are keen for Ings to remain in England as they would be entitled to around £5 million in compensation due to Ings’ age, whereas a move abroad would only entitle the Clarets to just £200,000 under FIFA rules. It is clear to see why a financially limited club such as Burnley are keen for Ings to remain in England.

A move to another English club would suit Burnley best, but would a move to Liverpool be the correct move for Ings? Should Daniel Sturridge remain fit, it will be almost impossible for Ings to displace his fellow countryman in the starting line-up. Furthermore, Liverpool have already invested £10 million in young Belgian striker Divock Origi, who will arrive on Merseyside this summer after a loan spell at Lille. Game time could prove tough to come by.

If Ings were to make the move to Anfield, the level of competition would most probably restrict his game time, and possibly stifle his development. However, Ings is certainly better suited to Liverpool’s style of play than the slow and lazy Mario Balotelli or the ageing Ricky Lambert. If Liverpool were to suffer another long-term injury to Sturridge, Ings would be an ideal replacement, stretching defences with his pace, allowing space for their star-studded midfield, and tucking away chances with his lethal finishing. As a back-up to Sturridge, he could prove to be a very good fit for the Reds.

Whilst a move to Anfield may be the choice of Sean Dyche and Burnley, Ings would have to consider how much game time he would get should Daniel Sturridge remain fit. Ings certainly has the talent and style of play to fit in at Liverpool, but a lack of playing time may affect his development. He would be a great back up for the Reds, but Ings needs to question whether being initially restricted to cup games and substitute appearances is worth it for a chance to prove himself at a big English club.

Moving abroad- Real Sociedad

In recent years the debate about whether British players should make the move abroad has resurfaced, especially with Wales’ Gareth Bale’s world record transfer to Real Madrid, and Ings could realistically be the next Brit to try and make his name on the continent.

Having reportedly already flown to the Basque country to discuss a move with David Moyes, Real Sociedad looks a realistic option for Ings to further his young career. The 22-year-old would reportedly quadruple his wages at the San Sebastian club, and also develop his game in ways other young English stars such as Harry Kane and Saido Berahino wouldn’t by playing in the slower, more technical Spanish league.

Furthermore, moving to a club like Real Sociedad would mean less competition for places than at a top English club, which should allow him to develop from more playing time. However, he would struggle to replace star man Carlos Vela up-front so would once again need to be wary of extended periods on the bench should he struggle to fit in, but he is, on balance, more likely to get more game time in Spain.

Whilst a move to Spain may be a brave move, it is incredibly risky, with a large probability of failure. Of the nineteen Englishmen who have moved to La Liga, only seven of those have lasted more than one season, showing just how difficult it is for an Englishman to adapt to Spain both on and off the pitch and build a lasting career. History suggests that the cultural differences between England and Spain will result in a swift return to England for Ings.

Should Ings choose to leave the Premier League, a move to the Anoeta would probably be the best place to go. The British connection provided by David Moyes should ease the transition to the playing style of La Liga, but the move to Spain itself carries many risks, as the chances of settling into a new culture could significantly affect his form. As a young man, his career would be far from over should he fail in Spain, but he must be wary that his career may stall should the move not work out. On balance, though, he has the necessary attributes to succeed in Spain if he settles.


Ings has certainly proved that he has the necessary qualities to fit in at a top end club, but he needs more time to develop before he can establish himself as a first-choice striker for a top team or an international player. For these reasons, Ings should take the plunge and head to the Basque country in order to further his development. Whilst the move carries an element of danger, at 22, Ings should be able to recover and still make as career in the Premier League and for England should the move fail. However, if the move were to succeed, which it realistically could under Moyes, Ings will improve vastly as a player, adding a continental experience and flair from his game that has been lacking from English strikers for some time. A successful spell in Spain will develop Ings into a great forward who could lead the line for a club, in either the Premier League or Europe, as well as the England national team in the coming years. It would be a risk, but could give him the edge on his contemporaries, making a move to Spain the best option for Ings at this moment in his career.

John is a history graduate from the University of Southampton, and will soon be completing a Master's degree in Journalism at Cardiff University


Tom Heaton would be the perfect replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham

The 32-year-old is being valued at just £10 million.

Josh Kerr



Tom Heaton
Photo: Getty Images

Burnley goalkeeper Tom Heaton has emerged as a potential replacement for Joe Hart at West Ham, according to reports from The Sun.

The report claims that Hart will not return to West Ham following his loan move from Manchester City. His mixed time at the club hasn’t given Hammers supporters a reason to demand a permanent deal for the England international.

The 31-year-old is unwanted by Pep Guardiola at the Etihad Stadium, and his poor form in East London has meant few clubs are showing an interest.

Instead, the East London side have turned their attention to Burnley and Tom Heaton as their new number one, with the 32-year-old keeper valued at £10 million.

The Chester born keeper began the season as Sean Dyche’s first choice but lost his place to Nick Pope after he suffered a dislocated shoulder last August.

The outstanding Pope and immediately staked a claim to be England’s number one in the summer World Cup. Due to his displays, he looks to have kept Heaton out of the team for the foreseeable future.

(Photo by Steve Bardens/Getty Images)

Considering Heaton has been an England squad regular in recent years, it is difficult to see him happy to be the number two at Turf Moor and an exit for the former Bristol City keeper could be imminent.

With over 178 appearances in the Premier League, Heaton would be the perfect signing for a goalkeeper position that has caused a lot of headache for fans at the London Stadium.

Both Hart and Adrian have been in and out of the first team and neither has pushed their cause as to why they should be the standout choice for the number one spot.

At Burnley, Heaton’s move to the substitute bench is one of the more unfortunate stories of the season as no-one came close to the 6ft 2 keeper before his injury.

If it wasn’t for Pope having one of the greatest debut seasons of the Premier League era then it would have been a given to see Heaton come back in as number one.

His manager, Sean Dyche, will most likely want to keep him at the club, especially considering the club’s Europa League commitments next season.

However, the Burnley boss would also understand that a keeper of his quality is too good to be wasting the final years of his career on the sidelines.

If Heaton were to move to the London Stadium then West Ham will have yet another England international in their ranks.

However, this time they would be getting an assured, established Premier League keeper, who has been fundamental in Burnley’s success for many-a-year.

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Bristol City

Joe Bryan would be the perfect signing for Sean Dyche’s Burnley

The 24-year-old has had a fine individual season at Ashton Gate.

Jake Jackman



Photo: Getty Images

Burnley have been the feel-good story of the Premier League over the last two years, as the club are set to complete a journey from the Championship to the Europa League.

The finances in football mean that it is difficult for a club to progress naturally, but the Clarets have shown that it is still possible and Sean Dyche has been the driving force behind their upwards trajectory.

One major reason for their success has been their recruitment.

The club have not tried to over-spend or sign players based on their reputation.

Their approach allows them to sign players tailored for their needs and it is no surprise that the majority of their signings over the last two years have fitted in seamlessly.

It would be a mistake if they changed their approach this summer, even with the added pressure of the Europa League.

In recent days, they have been linked with one Championship player that seems to be the perfect fit for the squad at Turf Moor.

(Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

The Telegraph report that Joe Bryan has emerged as a target for the Premier League club.

They go on to state that Dyche is ready to offer £6 million for the Bristol City left-back as he tries to improve both the quality and depth of the squad ahead of next season.

The rumour mill is starting to accelerate and the majority of media stories need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but this does make a lot of sense.

If Burnley continue with the recruitment policy, Bryan would be a great fit for them and immediately improve their starting eleven at left-back.

Bristol City’s season slowed down during the second half of the campaign, but they have impressed those that have watched them regularly and Bryan has been one of their standout performers.

The left-back has contributed four goals and three assists in the league, in addition to two strikes in the League Cup including one against Manchester United.

He would add a much-needed attacking threat from left full-back and that would provide an extra dimension to the Burnley team.

Although his decision making and defensive contribution needs work, he is a very good young full-back with the potential to thrive in the Premier League.

Bryan is an aggressive defender, as shown by his average of three successful tackles and 3.2 clearances per game.

(Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)

At times, he can be guilty of committing to too many forward runs, but that is something that could be addressed.

Dyche is very good at coaching a defence and the 24-year-old would benefit from working with the Burnley manager.

Dyche will be the first to admit that it will be difficult to replicate Burnley’s success, especially with the scheduling problems caused by the Europa League.

However, it would be foolish to make any huge changes to how they are currently conducting business.

Joe Bryan may not be an international with lots of experience in Europe, but he would be a great signing for this squad and fit in immediately.

The Clarets should do everything in their power to secure his services.

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Rangers signing of Scott Arfield from Burnley could be a major coup



Photo: Getty Images.

Another Old Firm derby looks likely to provide even more disappointment for Rangers fans, but there is light at the end of the tunnel as reports indicate that the club are close to sealing a deal to sign Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield on a free transfer.

According to Sky Sports, Rangers are closing in on a pre-contract agreement which will see the Canadian international move to Ibrox Stadium on a free transfer in the summer when his existing deal with Burnley expires.

The move will see Arfield return to the SPL, where he previously made his name with Falkirk having come through the ranks at the club, scoring 16 goals in 124 games.

(Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The 29-year-old has become a regular for Sean Dyche in his five seasons at Turf Moor, scoring two goals from 19 Premier League appearances, including 15 starts, before injury to his calf in February put a halt to his season as he remains sidelined.

Given that most of Rangers’ squad who do boast experience in England come from men past their best, as was the case when Joey Barton moved north of the border, and lower league talents, like Josh Windass, mixed with some loanees from Championship clubs, to sign a regular in a team competing for Europe in the Premier League can be considered a coup.

The left midfielder is consistent and looked comfortable in the Premier League, chipping in with some memorable goals in the process, and if he can take such quality to Ibrox it will be a significant statement as the club look to cut the gap behind league leaders and arch rivals Celtic.

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