Danny Ings has had a bright start to his career in a Villa shirt.
With two goals and two assists, he has contributed massively in just a short amount of time and he hasn’t even be producing at the levels fans know he can.
In the 2019/20 season he scored 24 goals and although he is yet to hit this height in claret and blue, he should be applauded for all the other things he is doing on the pitch which fans may not notice.
He currently leads the squad in pressures with 75 and displays a consistent and tireless work rate up front. The pairing of both him and Ollie Watkins up top means that Premier League defenders will rarely get a moment of peace on the ball while they roam the pitch.
His pressing has also seen results. He has made a total of seven blocks so far this season which is the fourth most within the squad. Six of these blocks have been from opposition passes and this outlines just how much he is disrupting the opponents’ passages of play.
Aside from his efforts defensively he has displayed his goal scoring instinct already. His goal of the month effort will be permanently engrained in fans minds, and he also showed his calmness under pressure after slotting away the penalty against Watford.
Goals will naturally come from Ings, but he also brings a composure on the ball and the ability to drop deep and bring those around him into the game. It was this composure that gave both Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey the platform to get their first goals in a Villa shirt as his footballing IQ and eye for a pass perfectly picked both of them out.
Ings is surrounded by quality and inevitably if he gives them the ball they will produce. This doesn’t mean his passing can go overlooked. The Buendia pass was relatively simple but the outside of the boot lofted pass to slot Leon Bailey through was something even Paul Merson would’ve been proud of. His passing ability cannot go unnoticed and will be a real outlet for Villa this season.
Most recently Ings has been operating with Watkins in a 3-5-2 formation. The two have only completed three pass combinations between themselves in these two games and although disappointing it is to be expected. As time goes on they will develop the necessary chemistry and begin to increase their link-up play throughout games.
This doesn’t mean to say it has been ineffective so far. Watkins looked extremely bright against Chelsea and it was the pairing of them both that led to the effectiveness of the Villa midfield against Everton. They ran tirelessly and occupied the Everton defenders which created the space that the likes of Douglas Luiz and Jacob Ramsey could thrive in.
Ings will undoubtedly return to the heights he has previously reached in his career when his partnership with Watkins develops and Villa progress as a team. For now, the work he is doing defensively and the way he facilitates his teammates must be acknowledged.
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