Danny Ings, Tottenham, and suitable components

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Something quite strange is happening between Tottenham and Danny Ings and the story of a £12m bid doesn’t really tally with the reality of the player’s expiring contract.

True, a pre-emptive bid would hurry this process up, but the final decision over Ings’ future lies with the player himself, so club-to-club negotiations represent only the first part of the process.

Anyway…given the amount of misinformation involved here, it seems like a fairly pointless debate. The method is rather incidental, the justification in actually pursuing Ings is more pertinent and therefore worth a discussion.

Ordinarily, transfer viability is assessed purely on a player’s attributes and technical suitability, but this might be an instance where situational value might be very relevant.

Tottenham’s forward line next season will be dominated by Harry Kane. In all likelihood, he will recede a little bit from the impossibly high level he achieved this year, but he is still a virtual certainty to lead Mauricio Pochettino’s attack in 2015/16. At the same time, however, Spurs still need depth at that position and must improve on the auxiliary options that currently exist.

Emmanuel Adebayor is likely to leave, Roberto Soldado will not be far behind.

The answer to this problem won’t be found in large investment. Kane has been such a success over the past year that he has earned the right to be considered his side’s number one option. Spurs don’t need to provide him with an actual rival, but instead with relatively competitive support.

That’s a tough balance to find. There are very few players out there who would be (a) good enough to contribute usefully at Tottenham’s level of the game, and (b) content to sit and learn behind a twenty-one year-old without resenting it.

Danny Ings probably fits that criteria. Given his history and his swift progression through the game, he is likely the covet the opportunity to play for a big club without - in the short-term at least - demanding a starting place. He’s talented enough to justify a move to the top-six and be a periodic difference-maker within it, but not yet established enough to be a problem throughout his maturation process.

Harmony is very important at Tottenham. A lot of the club’s recent problems have resulted from background politicking and a key objective for Paul Mitchell, Daniel Levy and Mauricio Pochettino now is to build a squad who are not only talented, but who also have the collective mental attributes to accept the general direction of the club. The Argentine is in the process of vanquishing some of the destructive cliques and egos from Hotspur Way to make room for something healthier, and when those new components arrive they must be shaped in a way that faciliates the common good. They can’t agitate, they can’t be resentful, they mustn’t sulk.

A semi-proven goalscorer at the beginning of his Premier League career fits that bill. Enough ability to be of value, not enough entitlement to be a problem or to prevent him from striving to develop.

If these are reports are accurate, this is good marriage for everybody.

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