Noel Whelan has offered his verdict on Aston Villa’s chances of landing Danny Ings…
Former Leeds striker Noel Whelan has backed West Ham to beat Tottenham and Aston Villa to the signing of Southampton striker Danny Ings.
All three clubs are said to be interested in signing the forward after he refused to sign a contract extension at St. Mary’s.
Whelan believes that the Hammers could have the edge over Villa and Spurs due to their involvement in the Europa League next season.
“When you look at the size of Villa, Tottenham and West Ham, they are pretty similar.
“Tottenham, for me, are probably slightly bigger in terms of history and what they have done.
“But when you look at where they are after last season, West Ham are more appealing because they are in the Europa League.
“It would be hard to turn down a move to any of those clubs. Look at the market Villa have gone into.
“Look at Tottenham’s stadium. West Ham have Europe, they all have their benefits.
Villa director of football Johan Lange must convince Ings that a move to the Midlands is the best choice for his next career step.
Whilst Whelan has made a compelling argument for West Ham and Spurs, given their upcoming European ventures and the latter’s club size, Villa can offer him the prospect of playing alongside the likes of Ollie Watkins, Jack Grealish and Emi Buendia whilst fighting for potential European football too.
Former Premier League forward Clinton Morrison once labelled Ings as “first-class” and claimed that he has the quality to play for a Champions League club.
“Yes, I would say Danny Ings is top-four quality, most definitely. The season he’s had at Southampton, if you put him in one of the teams at the top four, he’d easily score goals like that.
“I used to play with a striker who used to play like Danny Ings – Robbie Keane.
“I look at the way Ings plays at the moment, his movement is first class and I used to say to Robbie Keane, ‘how do you get in behind defenders when you’re not rapid?’ His movement was first-class and Danny Ings is like that.”
The £77k-per-week dynamo has the ability to compete at the top-four level and could, therefore, play a part in getting Villa to a place where they can qualify for the Champions League.
He has scored 34 Premier League goals in the past two seasons, proving himself as a reliable and consistent performer for the Saints.
This suggests that he could add an extra goal threat to Smith’s squad alongside Watkins, which the former Brentford boss would love as it would provide him with another player who he could expect to score plenty of goals in the top-flight.