Hot Prospect: Danny Ings
Arguably the most in form striker in the country right now is Danny Ings. The young Burnley forward has really hit the ground running this season, something which has seen his Burnley side soar to the top of the Championship table.
Ings started his career at Southampton but was released as a schoolboy. This saw him join Bournemouth and he began his rise through the centre of excellence and eventually gained a two year scholarship in the summer of 2008. His first professional appearance came on 6th October 2009 in a 2-1 defeat against Northampton Town in the Football League Trophy. After impressing in a number of substitute appearances, Ings signed a professional contract with The Cherries in May 2010 before joining local non-league side Dorchester Town on loan for two months in a bid to gain valuable first team football, scoring a healthy four goals in nine games. This included a goal on his debut against Ebbsfleet United.
After returning to Dean Court due to an injury crisis, the striker continued in his bid for a starting place at the club and went a long way in doing so by scoring his first professional league goal in February 2011. He began to become a regular name on the AFC Bournemouth team sheet and his impressive performances saw him interest a number of Premier League and Championship clubs such as Newcastle United.
After scoring seven goals in 27 games, Fulham made a bid of £400,000 for the attacker but it was rebuffed. A host of enquiries were waved away by Bournemouth before eventually, a undisclosed fee believed to be around £1 million was agreed with Burnley and he moved to Turf Moor on a four year deal. The move was not a big surprise as it was former Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe who was now Burnley’s man at the helm. Howe had given Ings his professional chance at The Cherries and clearly showed he was a big fan of the forward by signing him for a hefty fee.
However, after so much build up, disaster struck as just a week into his Burnley contract he suffered a knee cartilage tear which saw him require surgery, leaving him on the sidelines for around five months. His return to action was welcomed by the Burnley fans and he managed three goals before the close of the season.
Before the start of the 12/13 season, Burnley sold first choice striker Jay Rodriguez to Southampton and this subsequently opened the door for Ings who scored in pre-season friendlies against both Bury and Altrincham. But after a decent pre-season campaign, Ings was unfortunate to suffer yet another serious knee injury, this time keeping him out for six months. His return saw him slowly play his way back to first team recognition but goal-scoring became a hard task.
On the other hand, goal scoring has not been a problem for the frontman this season as he has fired in a highly impressive 11 goals in 14 games. Burnley fans could have been forgiven for fearing the worst at the beginning of this season, especially after the sale of hugely influential striker Charlie Austin to Queens Park Rangers but Danny Ings has done more than well to fill the void left by Austin. The form of Ings has seen him selected for Gareth Southgate’s England under 21 side, coming on for his debut as a 65th minute substitute against San Marino. On his left arm, Ings has a tattoo of a phoenix rising from the ashes with the words ‘The difference between the possible and impossible lies in a man’s determination’ inked underneath and it is these words that he looks at daily for inspiration.
Burnley fans will hope that the striker can maintain his blistering early season form which has seen the club propel to the top of the SkyBet Championship. It is also a welcome relief for England fans to see such a young striker doing so well.