Is It Time for Liverpool to Take a Championship Punt on Burnley's Danny Ings?

Matt LadsonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 10, 2014

BURNLEY, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 24:  Danny Ings of Burnley in action with Jamaal Lascelles of Nottingham Forest during the Capital One Cup Third Round match between Burnley and Nottingham Forest at Turf Moor on September 24, 2013 in Burnley, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Liverpool are today linked again with a move for Burnley forward Danny Ings.

Matt Peters in The Daily Mail writes that "Liverpool are among the Barclays Premier League clubs tracking £8 million-rated Burnley striker Danny Ings."

 

History

Top flight clubs signing players from the lower leagues used to be the norm in England but that trend has been lost with the introduction of the Premier League, such moves becoming rarer and rarer over the past two decades.

LIVERPOOL, UNITED KINGDOM - MAY 11:  Kevin Keegan, manager of Newcastle, urges his players during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Newcastle United at Goodison Park on May 11, 2008 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty
Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

One of Liverpool's greatest ever players, Kevin Keegan, was signed from then-fourth division side Scunthorpe United, for the princely sum of £35,000.

Keegan's move came four years after legendary goalkeeper Ray Clemence made the same move from the Lincolnshire side across the Pennines. Phil Neal was signed from Northampton, Joey Jones from Wrexham, Emlyn Hughes from Blackpool—those were the days when a manager such as Bill Shankly would watch the player in person by driving around England on the cliched "cold Tuesday night".

 

Modern Era

In the modern era though, as club's began expanding their scouting networks looking for bargain signings from around the world, the price of English players has risen dramatically—dubbed "the English premium."

You could use that theory to describe why Liverpool paid such exorbitant amounts for Stewart Downing, Andy Carroll and Jordan Henderson—buying British doesn't get you a bargain these days.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 29: Connor Wickham of Sheffield Wednesday claps the away fans after the Sky Bet Championship match between Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley on December 29, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterf
Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Liverpool fans will recall their pursuit of Connor Wickham, the then-teenage Ipswich forward was heavily linked with a move to Merseyside in 2011 but eventually moved to Sunderland for £8 million—a fee which could rise to a staggering £13 million, according to The Daily Mirror.

Wickham is only 20 now, but thus far he's failed to live up to the hype that surrounded the England Under-21 international and finds himself on loan, back in the Championship, with Sheffield Wednesday.

 

Ings

Ings is clearly a player with great ability, currently the third top scorer in the Championship with 15 league goals—20 in total in 28 appearances this season.

He's recently been called up to the England Under-21 squad and at age 21 he still has plenty of time to develop further.

According to WhoScored, Ings' averages 3.2 shots per game and 1.3 key passes—both are good statistics for a forward.

A pass completion rate of 77.2 percent isn't great, but for a forward who makes most their passes in the attacking third that isn't terrible either.

Could Ings make the step up from Championship to Premier League? He certainly appears to have the potential.

Could the reported £8 million fee put Liverpool, and other suitors, off such a move? Possibly.