Suzanne Geldard: Burnley striker does not need new contract to prove he’s stay-Ing (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Suzanne Geldard: Burnley striker does not need new contract to prove he’s stay-Ing
THE debate about whether Danny Ings should or shouldn’t sign a new deal is a can of worms partially prised open.
Although Sean Dyche says he isn’t worried about the comparisons to this time last year, when top scorer Charlie Austin was a wanted man going into the final year of his contract, supporters fear losing Ings in similar circumstances.
But the club’s circumstances are not the same as 12 months ago.
Last summer the board and bean counters were mindful of an £8million deficit and were searching for ways to recover it. Austin’s £4m sale to Queens Park Rangers cut it in half.
Fast forward to July 2014 and with Burnley preparing for the Premier League season not only are the finances more fulsome but the carrot of playing in what is widely regarded as the ‘best league in the world’ – and playing regularly – should offer enough incentive for Ings to stay.
Whether he starts the new season with a new contract or not is irrelevant.
It is what happens during the course of the season, and at the end of it, what counts as the Clarets bid for Premier League survival.
Some supporters are concerned that Ings can walk away for nothing next summer, no matter what. But those fears are misguided.
For one thing the Bosman ruling means that the Clarets would be entitled to compensation at the very least, even if he went abroad – although their pay-off would be less than they could expect from a British club.
Granted it would not be the kind of figure they could command if he was still under contract, but if Ings was to stay for the duration of the 2014/15 season and contribute to keeping Burnley in the Premier League, then I’m sure most would agree that would be a priceless outcome.
In September last year I wrote that it was time to tie Ings to a new contract, given the manner in which he started campaign which ultimately yielded 26 goals.
But the club have moved on since then, and up.
Ings has said all along that he plays best when he has a smile on his face and right now he is happy in the moment, still basking in the brilliance of promotion and full of anticipation for the new season.
He is wise enough to know that moving to another Premier League club would not guarantee the number of Premier League starts that he is all but assured of at Turf Moor, and that opening fixture alone, at home to Chelsea, is enough to whet the appetite.
Plus he would not spend his own free time doing so much in the community if he was not content where he is.
The only cause for concern and uncertainty would be injury, but after two severe knee problems you would like to think the worst is behind him.
So why not keep the status quo?
If he stays fit and firing, no-one has got anything to lose.