West Ham have completed the £15m signing of striker Danny Ings from Aston Villa.
The England international striker joins the Hammers on a two-and-a-half year deal, taking him up to shortly before his 33rd birthday.
West Ham say Ings will be eligible to feature in their crunch relegation six-pointer with Everton at the London Stadium on Saturday, with his paperwork submitted before the Premier League’s midday deadline on Friday.
“I’m really pleased to add Danny to the squad,” manager David Moyes told the club’s website. “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.”
Ings has netted 68 times across 188 Premier League appearances prior to his move to East London, and leaves Aston Villa as their top league scorer this season with six goals in 18 games.
“Danny is a very good player in the first XI,” Unai Emery said after introducing Ings from the bench to rescue a point against Wolves in early January. “I’m really happy with him,” he added.
Given that admission, a mere two weeks ago, it feels strange to be talking about the striker becoming West Ham’s newest signing – clearly viewed as expendable by the Villa boss, despite his recent acclamation.
Ings, like Villa, has a tendency to blow hot and cold. Given his age (he is now 30) and injury record, perhaps the smart move is to cash in before allowing his contract to run down, but Villa are hardly flush in front of goal this term.
They’ve scored a total of 22 league goals – less than both Leeds and Leicester – with Ings netting six of those. That’s more than any other Villa player. Leon Bailey is closest with four.
Maybe Ings isn’t an archetypal Emery attacker. His pace has waned. He isn’t as dynamic or energetic as Ollie Watkins, for example, but he’s effective. He scores goals. His movement is intelligent and his finishing is precise. He remains a good option, albeit one whose game time needs to respect his extensive injury history.
Let us also remember that Villa paid £30m to Southampton to rush Ings through the door only 17 months ago. Swallowing that loss to pave the way for untested talent doesn’t always pay dividends. Although the master plan – pairing Ings with Watkins up top – hasn’t quite come to fruition, letting a proven goalscorer join a direct rival at a cut price seems imprudent.
Goals are the hardest currency to come by in Premier League circles and Ings gives you those. The former Liverpool man may well deliver a timely reminder of exactly what Villa will be missing when the two sides meet in mid-March.