Liverpool misfit Danny Ings has found himself linked with Newcastle United this week, but is the injury-plagued centre-forward the answer to the Magpies’ goalscoring woes?
While Newcastle’s defence has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, Dwight Gayle and Joselu remain the club’s joint top scorers with just three apiece.
Ings, a £6.5 million signing from Burnley in June 2015, has endured a nightmarish two-and-a-half years at Anfield, injuries restricting him to just eight league appearances and two goals for the club – a far cry from the 38 notched in 122 games for his previous suitors.
While the 25-year-old impressed for Burnley during his sole full campaign in the top-flight, netting 11 times as the club sank back into the second tier, he is a man who has spent most of the last three years sidelined with anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
Whether Ings is the same player that terrorised Premier League defences and earned himself international call-ups remains to be seen – considering he’s been largely consigned to reserve duty this season.
Newcastle fans don’t need to be reminded of the days when forking out big wages for injury-prone hitmen to warm the treatment beds was the norm, with the likes of Carl Cort, Michael Owen and Siem De Jong rarely seen on the field of play.
At present, the Magpies are crying out for an established centre-forward with a proven track record in the Premier League – instead of juggling strikers who’ve been airlifted straight from the bench of their previous clubs.
Rafa Benitez knows that he can’t afford to add another misfiring hitman to the pack, and must avoid turning what was once a sanctuary for blossoming number nines into something resembling a graveyard.