Paul Ince was a great player (when he wanted to be) but don’t worry, I’m talking about his son – Thomas. The young winger/striker signed for Blackpool in August in 2011 from Liverpool for an undisclosed fee and, like many a youth exit from Liverpool, met with little fanfare.
But since his move to the Tangerines, Ince the Younger has been setting the place alight. Since his signing for the club, Ince has gone on to contribute 14 goals and 13 assists in 36 starts. With one eye on Liverpool’s current issues in that department, you might wonder whether we made a huge mistake in letting him go, considering that his default position is now usually as a striker, he may have come in handy, from the bench at least.
Of course, you have to also take into consideration the league he’s playing in and the drop in quality from the Premier League to the Championship, these days, is pretty drastic (one or two teams aside) so that will always skew things a little.
At the same time however, he’s only now 20 and has been at the club since he was 18, so he’s still relatively inexperienced by comparison with some of his team-mates, so his performances should be all the more impressive, in that respect.
This season alone, Ince has scored 6 in 6 games, with 5 assists. That means he’s made 11 goal contributions for the club this season – whether directly or indirectly – which is about 4 or 5 times more than any single Liverpool player has managed in 8 competitive games this season.
I’d read that there were concerns over Ince’s attitude and, as always, his father is a constant issue with his bickering and sniping – somewhat similar to Ian Wright really – at the lad’s managers or fellow players should he not play too often. But given the impact another young player has made this season, who’s to say whether Brendan Rodger’s wouldn’t have given Ince a try in the first team?
It’s all ifs and buts, of course, but from the impact he’s made since he arrived at Blackpool, it looks like the young striker could’ve made a telling contribution to Liverpool’s season, if he hadn’t been let go. Just imagine a couple of substitute appearances and maybe the odd assist or goal? It might’ve made things look slightly healthier by this point.
However, it’s out of Rodger’s hands and he had absolutely nothing to do with letting the player go. He can only work with what he was left with, or picked up on his own. Don’t be surprised though, to see Tom Ince end up at a much bigger club than Blackpool by the time he’s 22 and for a fee well in excess of the ‘undisclosed fee’ that Blackpool paid to us last year. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.