Danny Ings (£6.4m) came off the bench to make his West Ham United debut against Everton in Gameweek 21, just over 24 hours after completing his £15m transfer from Aston Villa.
And, wouldn’t you just know it, he picked up an injury almost straight away, a knee issue that isn’t too serious but probably enough to delay a full debut by a couple of weeks or so.
The 30-year-old didn’t set the world alight at Villa Park but departed as their top goalscorer this season with six in the Premier League.
Now, David Moyes will be hoping Ings can be the solution to West Ham’s attacking woes once he’s back fit.
We assess his Fantasy Premier League (FPL) appeal in this Moving Target piece.
INGS’ FPL HISTORY
|Season||Team||Starts (sub appearances)||Goals||Assists||Bonus||FPL points|
|2022/23||Aston Villa||8 (10)||6||0||10||57|
|2021/22||Aston Villa||22 (8)||7||6||12||106|
|2019/20||Southampton (loan)||32 (6)||22||2||40||198|
|2018/19||Southampton (loan)||23 (1)||7||3||11||90|
Ings has proven FPL pedigree, having scored 68 Premier League goals in 188 top-flight appearances, with a single-season best of 22 for Southampton in 2019/20.
The 30-year-old scored 11 goals and set up a further four for Burnley in 2014/15, despite their relegation back to the Football League.
Those displays earned him a move to Liverpool in the summer of 2015, but a knee ligament injury effectively cut short his season. Returning to action on the final day, he then damaged his other knee in October 2016, ruling him out for the rest of that campaign having failed to kick a ball in the Premier League.
Ings left Anfield after just 14 Premier League appearances and three goals, joining Southampton in 2018 – initially on loan – where he enjoyed three successful seasons on the south coast, scoring 41 goals in 91 appearances.
He then moved to Aston Villa from Southampton for £25m in 2021 but has not hit the same heights at Villa Park as he did at St Mary’s, not helped by several niggling injuries. However, Ings leaves the club as their top league scorer this season and has averaged a goal every 145.8 minutes, which puts him in good company.
PREMIER LEAGUE MINUTES PER GOAL 22/23 (MIN FIVE GOALS):
“We need someone who knows the league. We’ve had a look at a few players to strengthen, but I wanted to bring someone in who wasn’t a risk in terms of knowing the league. Danny is as good as it gets. We need to score more goals, that’s the obvious thing. We’ve brought in Danny Ings and we are working hard to get those better results. He adds to what we need. Gianluca [Scamacca] has a bit of a knee injury which will keep him out for a short time, so at the moment I only have Micky [Antonio] and Danny as out and out forwards, Jarrod [Bowen] who can fill in as well. Hopefully he will settle in well as we need that competition.” – David Moyes
“I’m really pleased to add Danny to the squad. He is a proven Premier League goalscorer and will add great competition for places in the attacking third. We’re looking forward to integrating him into the group, as we go into a busy period in our season.” – David Moyes
“It’s important I settle in as quickly as I can do – and do the important stuff on the pitch for West Ham. We’ve got some massive games ahead of us – and I’ve come here to try and score as many goals as I can to help the team to get some positive results. I’m really looking forward to getting started.” – Danny Ings
WEST HAM’S LACK OF GOALS
West Ham need a goalscorer, having found the net just 17 times in 20 games this season. Only Wolverhampton Wanderers (12), Everton (15) and Nottingham Forest (16) have scored fewer, despite the Hammers sitting 11th for minutes per xG (71.2).
That tells us they are creating around the same number of chances as the likes of Fulham and Leeds United (both 68.9) – they just aren’t taking them. In fact, West Ham have scored just 17 goals from 26.81 xG this season, with their current xG delta (goals minus xG) the worst of any top-flight side.
Gianluca Scamacca (£6.6m) – currently struggling with a knee problem of his own – has managed only three Premier League goals this season, while Michail Antonio (£7.0m) has a return of two. It’s clear they need more competition and somebody, most importantly, to put the ball in the back of the net.
In that sense, the signing of Ings should help to solve that, given his 2022/23 numbers.
ANTONIO V SCAMACCA V INGS: MINUTES PER STATISTICS 22/23:
|Goal||Shot||Shot in the box||Shot on target||xG|
THE FPL PROSPECTS
Ings will give West Ham more options in attack when he recovers from a knee problem, but for FPL managers, that isn’t a particularly good thing.
David Moyes has rarely used a two-striker system during his time at the Hammers, largely favouring a 4-2-3-1. If that continues, it could leave Ings, Antonio and Scamacca eating into each other’s minutes, especially given the former two’s advancing years. That was certainly the case last Saturday when Ings came on to replace Antonio with 20 minutes remaining.
Ings should have no issues adapting to West Ham’s 4-2-3-1 having thrived as a lone striker at Southampton, but if Moyes were to opt for a two-pronged frontline, it would, of course, boost his FPL appeal. Given how comfortable he is dropping deep to link up play, that could be something West Ham look at, although for now, it remains to be seen how Moyes will adjust his tactics – if at all – to accommodate his new signing.
If Ings can nail down a starting role when available again and rack up enough minutes, he could carry some potential with the creative talents of Lucas Paqueta (£5.9m), Jarrod Bowen (£8.0m) and Said Benrahma (£5.6m) providing opportunities, especially if he were to take on penalties at his new club.
Saying that, the likes of Eddie Nketiah (£6.6m) and Aleksandar Mitrovic (£7.0m) are well ahead in the forward pecking order right now, even when Ings gets fit.
Wherever he has gone previously, he has scored goals, so he might be one to keep in mind for later in the campaign, particularly after the March international break when the fixtures look a mite better and at least two Double Gameweeks will have to be accommodated.