Ings sets out Villa ambitions after lifting lid on cloak and dagger move

Takumi Minamino, Danny Ings

Danny Ings admits not even his family new about Wednesday’s move from Southampton to Aston Villa as the transfer was completed at breakneck speed.

The 29-year-old had been linked with Tottenham for some time. But, out of the blue, it emerged that he had signed for Villa in a deal thought to be worth £25m. He becomes Dean Smith’s latest signing as the West Midlanders prepare for the impending departure of Jack Grealish.

Emiliano Buendia and Leon Bailey have already arrived as the manager looks to add quality to his attacking ranks. Ings’ move certainly caught out the media.

And the man with three England caps confessed that it was difficult to keep the news secret from his nearest and dearest.

“I’ve been at a lot of places in my career but this was definitely the best-kept secret,” he told the club’s official website. “It has been a crazy couple of days. I wasn’t able to tell my family until it was announced. Now I am just happy to be here and get started.

Dean Smith, Aston Villa manager

“It’s hard to explain (what moments like this) are like. I am very close with my dad. Not being able to tell him during the process was probably the toughest thing ever.

“I told him on the way up on Wednesday night and he is excited. He is looking forward to seeing me hopefully grow at this club.”

Ings best will be big hit with Villa fans

Ings has suffered with injuries throughout his career. His form at Burnley earned him a move to Liverpool back in 2015.

But he made just 25 appearances in all competitions for the Reds after spending too much time on the treatment table. A loan move to Southampton followed and that became permanent in July 2019.

The Winchester-born ace then enjoyed his most prolific campaign, notching 22 top-flight goals in 2019-2020. He spent time on the sidelines again last term but still managed to bag 12 league goals.

Now at Villa Park, Ings is keen to buy into the club’s lofty ambitions. And he wants to see them back where he feels they belong.

“The club itself is huge. You can see the direction the owners want to take it,” he added. “It is a club with a big reputation and huge expectation from the fans. It is a challenge I could not shy away from and one I am looking forward to.

“A club like this should be competing in Europe, with its history. Hopefully I can play my part in achieving that. There is definitely a lot of good times to look forward to.”

READ MORE: England man’s record under threat as Southampton look to repel Villa