The Concerns, Extra Clause and Brilliance of the Danny Ings Transfer to Villa

Danny Ings Aston Villa Transfer

If you were scanning across the football press yesterday, you may have come across a Guardian article making a case for why Manchester City or Chelsea should be giving serious consideration to buying Danny Ings.

After all, only Harry Kane, Mo Salah (both 41) and Jamie Vardy (38) have scored more goals than Ings (34) across the last two Premier League campaigns. Taking his impressive goalscoring into account, it was argued that Ings would be a good signing to buy some time, because next summer Erling Haaland’s reported release clause of £68m kicks in; Kylian Mbappé becomes a free agent; and Kane will have dropped in value due to their being a year less on his Spurs contract.

It seemed a logical enough argument, that is until three hours after the article’s publication, when Aston Villa swooped in to sign Ings on a three-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

It was a move that nobody saw coming. A refreshing transfer – devoid of clickbait, ITK and other inane nonsense.

It is of course a sensitive time for Villa as a club, having sold season tickets and their home kit (at least) in advertising campaigns containing their prince Jack Grealish, only for him to depart to an oil soaked new kingdom in an attempt to brand it like Beckham.

To appease season ticket holders and the rabid Villa Twitterati, the club needed to bring in bodies fast, and due to their former captain’s gravitas, they very much needed to shock and awe.

With the confirming of Leon Bailey’s signing for a reported £30m, earlier in the week, the additional signing of Ings, at this point, has certainly delivered.

There’s the possibility that the Grealish negotiations had been strung out with City, to allow them to make their new player announcements first to soften the blow for Villa fans of their captain leaving.

The Clause & Concern

Villa are thought to have paid circa £25m, plus add-ons, for Ings. £2 million of the fee is reported to be heading to Anfield, as part of a sell-on clause the Saints had in the deal, when they bought Ings off Liverpool back in 2018.

There have been some concerns from some fans that Villa have over paid for an injury-prone player, a sentiment that mainly links back to his four-years at Liverpool, where serious knee injuries hampered his opportunities there.

Injuries though seem to be a problem of the past.

Since Villa have been promoted, Ings has actually played five more league games than Jack Grealish has in the last two Premier League seasons. He was ever present in the league for Southampton during the 2019/20 season, which is a rare feat for any player.


Ings is very much a player for the here and now for Villa, with the club breaking their trend of younger talent with potential upside, due to the Grealish transfer fee.

After last season, when Villa didn’t take chances to settle games they were ahead in, Ings potency in front of goal is a huge draw.

After the past couple of seasons, he posted similar ‘shots per game’ and expected goals to Ollie Watkins in his first Premier League season, but Ings’ goals per game record is 0.61 compared to Watkins 0.38.

While not directly comparing them due to the different qualities they both bring to a team, based on the those stats in terms of goals, Ings is better than a 1-in-2 striker, while Watkins is closer to a 1-in-3 man.

Smith’s View

“Danny is an outstanding Premier League footballer who has scored goals wherever he has played,” said Villa boss Dean Smith, in the club’s official announcement of the transfer. 

“He is also a top professional with a great character who will be a leader in our squad and a role model for our rapidly developing young academy players who are now in and around the first team.”

Ings, who was about to enter the final year of his contract at St Mary’s, turned down the offer of a four-year deal in July, so this is obviously the players last big move.

If Villa failed to convince Grealish to tread the road ahead for the club, Ings, considering who he was being potentially matched up with, seems to be more than happy to take it.


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  1. imo now judus jack has gone dean smith will be under a lot of preasure to get the team performing, i think he could be gone by xmas. villa need to go get bassouma from brighton asap.

  2. Interesting remarks from Purslow on Villa TV about Jack leaving which apparently centers about him playing Champions League footie

  3. My concern in this transfer window was that we did not seem to be addressing the lack of cover, or competition, for Olly up front. Then (love the phrase “shock and awe”) we sign Ings. Our recruitment since Lange came in has been impressive, not just for the first team but for the academy too. I would still, ideally, have wanted Jack with us to be available along the new signings, but he won’t be. Been here before. Sad when Bruce Rioch got nicked off us by Clough. And when Andy Gray decided his future lay elsewhere the first time. With the current owners and recruitment, I’m still really excited about the new season. Without Jack.

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