Beloved Burnley boss Sean Dyche this weekend refused to deny reports that star striker Danny Ings has visited Spain to hold talks with Real Sociedad over a summer switch to San Sebastian, but warned that a move to Spain would be detrimental to the England hopeful.
“The middle of La Liga is no use for a young player, I don’t personally think so – albeit it is a great standard. I think he’s better than that. I think he’s top end of the Premier League.”
Ings’ Clarets contract expires in the summer and it’s widely anticipated that he won’t extend his stay, though why would a move to Spain (one he would only make ‘for financial reasons’ according to his manager) have a negative impact on his progression?
Liverpool and Tottenham are believed to be the leading domestic parties in the race to snare the 22-year-old.
David Moyes’ side clearly can’t match the fiscal muscle of this flush Premier League pair, suggesting Dyche’s money-motivated comments are incorrect.
Perhaps the player has a greater awareness of what’s best for his development than his manager does.
Moving to a ‘top end Premier League’ club would obviously represent something of an achievement for a forward rejected by Southampton as a teenager, but how would he continue to improve if he spent weeks on their bench?
Ings isn’t renowned for his versatility and both Liverpool and Spurs’ systems are based around a solo centre-forward.
Daniel Sturridge does the job for the Anfield club, Harry Kane is Mauricio Pochettino’s main man.
Neither will be deposed from their seats of power anytime soon.
If Ings were to sign for one of these teams and was to somehow squeeze a way into the team, he would be under enormous pressure to deliver immediately.
Dealing with these expectations has damaged the stocks of plenty of players in the past, as struggling Reds hitman Rickie Lambert will attest.
At Real Sociedad, the desperation for success doesn’t exist.
The environment, therefore, will be similar to that which Ings is currently prospering in at Burnley.
Current Sociedad superstar Carlos Vela, formerly of Arsenal, is one player who refuted Dyche’s misguided notions regarding La Liga.
Owing to all the ‘big club’ baggage mentioned above, the Mexican abandoned the Premier League and has flourished ever since.
He has scored 42 league goals across the past three campaigns and has never failed to fire in double digits since leaving the Gunners permanently.
Ings – whose Burnley side is 9/4 to finish bottom of the Premier League – would do well to follow his lead.