When Steven Gerrard was dismissed from his duties as manager earlier this season, following a dreadful 3-0 defeat to promoted Fulham – the club were wayward and facing the threat of relegation from the Premier League, having lost six top-flight games from a possible 11.
Since that point, the new chapter has indeed been full of promise, with Emery winning four of the six league matches of which he has taken charge, preceded by a resounding 4-0 demolition of Brentford when the club were between permanent managers.
However, with the January transfer window in full swing, the Spaniard appears to be putting an emphasis on new additions, with left-back Alex Moreno arriving in a £13.2m deal from Real Betis and numerous names being touted to follow.
According to Sport Witness – relaying reports stemming from Spain – the Kosovo international has a release clause of €38m (£34m), and Villa could look to make a move this month as they seek to add a much-needed dimension to the offensive third.
With his average Sofascore rating of 7.07 bolstering his claims to earn a move to an club with European aspirations, the cogs might fall into place. Indeed, his match averages of 2.6 shots and 0.9 key passes are illustrations of the presence and creativity that he can bring in abundance.
He would likely assert his authority within a Villa team searching for a more refined approach, with one writer labelling him as “utterly dominant in the air“, and his all-round game would consequently enhance the collective efforts of Emery’s team.
Ings has scored seven goals and delivered two assists from 21 appearances this term, having started on only 11 occasions, but his average Sofascore rating of 6.87 in the league and a growing tendency to put in a lacklustre shift mark him out as a potential fall guy if Muriqi comes to Villa Park. Also, his overall record of 14 goals in 52 games for the club doesn’t exactly scream prolific.
With the new era at Villa Park firmly underway, Emery indeed needs to usher in his philosophy and target players of his own mould.
Ings has been a stalwart in the Premier League across 188 appearances at this level, but don’t be surprised if he is to make way for Muriqi, should the Kosovan end up coming to Aston Villa.