The previous summer transfer window was an incredibly busy one for Aston Villa, firstly for selling their star player and club captain Jack Grealish to Manchester City for a fee of £100m and then spending a total sum of £89.84m on bringing new players to the Midlands club.
Even though it’s only been a few months since the last window, one player that came in over the summer that hasn’t been a particularly solid signing for the Villans is Danny Ings.
Signed out of the blue from fellow Premier League side Southampton back in August for a fee of £25m, Ings began well at Villa Park by starting their opening nine league games of the season with three goals and two assists under his belt.
However, in the middle of the five-game run of defeats that cost Dean Smith his job at Villa, Ings has become more of a bit-part player, starting just one game since new manager Steven Gerrard came in which was his first game as Villa boss in their 2-0 win over Brighton & Hove Albion.
Ings played 66 minutes with no goals or assists and hasn’t started a game since, being an unused substitute in their 2-1 win over Crystal Palace and coming on as a substitute in the second half of their two previous games against Liverpool and Norwich City.
In fairness to Ings, who is currently Villa’s best-paid player with a weekly wage of £100k-per-week according to Salary Sport, he has struggled with injuries since October when his consistent run in the team came to an end.
However, with Ings not starting the game against Norwich, which could have been an easy target for Ings to add some goals to his tally for the season against given how they’ve managed to concede 34 league goals all season, suggests that Gerrard may not fully trust or rate the former Liverpool and Burnley striker enough to lead the line for his Villa team.
Taking all of this into account, unless Ings can get and stay fit for the rest of the season and add some more goals and assists to his record, his debut season at Villa could be in danger of being an ultimately disappointing one individually, potentially making Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens question their decision to bring him to the club in the first place.
They had a plan to replace some of Grealish’s qualities in Ings but it’s evident that has not gone according to plan.