The Suzanne Geldard column: Now is time to tie star striker Ings to the Turf (From This Is Lancashire)
The Suzanne Geldard column: Now is time to tie star striker Ings to the Turf
DANNY Ings' red-hot start to the season can only mean one thing - the scouts are out in force.
They turned out in number at Turf Moor on Tuesday night.
Some will have been there to assess future opposition – representatives from Leeds United, Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic, Burnley’s next three opponents.
But you can bet whatever you like that plenty will have had their eye on the Clarets’ latest top scorer.
And after two goals and a number of near misses in a man-of-the-match performance their reports on the young striker will be favourable.
You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
As a manager you want your attacking players to be scoring goals, your defenders keeping clean sheets and your goalkeepers making saves.
Combine it all and you’ve got the formula Sean Dyche’s men are enjoying at the moment.
Their teamwork has been as influential as any individual.
But Ings is really lighting up the Championship.
Those scouts who saw him run a Birmingham backline ragged in midweek will have been aware of his potential. Why else would Burnley have spent £1million on a relatively unknown 19-year-old a little over two years ago?
But injuries have meant that potential has not been realised. Until now.
And now the vultures are starting to circle, despite manager Dyche’s best efforts to play down Ings’ early seven-goal impact.
You can’t blame him. The more Ings is talked about, the more people record and write what is being discussed, the more his name hits the headlines.
Dyche walked into a similar scenario last season, when Charlie Austin became the hot topic when he was outscoring Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
The Clarets boss is in control of this situation from the start, and keeping a lid on things. But for how long?
Next Wednesday it will be exactly 13 weeks to Christmas Day, and 14 weeks to the January transfer window.
Bournemouth have already tried to buy Ings back of course, during the summer.
Fully aware that that chances of Austin starting the season with them were slim, it was a categorical ‘No’ from Burnley and the Clarets managed to get through the rest of the window unscathed.
They may not be that fortunate in the next one, which is why the board must take action with the offer of a new contract now.
They dragged their feet over Austin’s.
Eighteen months might be a long time in general life but not in football life.
Had they reacted when Austin started the season on fire then the chances are he would have penned a new deal. But precious time was wasted.
It may already be too late to tie Ings to an extension. He shares the same agent as Austin.
But the very least the Clarets have got to do is try to keep Ings at the club.
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