• May 30, 2023

Danny Ings describes West Ham move as ‘my easiest transition’, but did not expect to leave Aston Villa in January

Danny Ings says his move to West Ham is his “easiest transition yet”, but he did not expect to leave Aston Villa in the January transfer window.

The striker made the move to London two months ago, having spent 18 months at Villa Park, as the Hammers fight against relegation from the Premier League in one of the tightest races in recent seasons.

Speaking to Sky Sports’ Patrick Davison ahead of West Ham’s Super Sunday showdown with another of Ings’ former clubs – Southampton – the 30-year-old described how the move was completed in just 48 hours.

“I didn’t actually expect to leave. I was doing quite well for Villa at the time, I was scoring goals so it was a bit unexpected and it happened so quickly,” he said.

“The transition happened in about 48 hours, I think. To get it done so quickly and be involved in that first game when I signed, it was a great feeling.

“My agent probably knew slightly earlier than me, but it was quite late for me to find out. My agent asked if I wanted to do it and I said yes.

West Ham's new signing Danny Ings (Credit: @WestHam)
Danny Ings has called his move to West Ham as one of his easiest yet (Credit: @WestHam)

“Straight away, I thought it was a good one for me. At Villa, although I was doing well, I wasn’t finding myself playing week in, week out and that was difficult – when you’re scoring goals and that’s not happening , it’s tough.

“I was able to go back in and see everybody at Villa and say thank you for everything and say my goodbyes. I haven’t been able to do that before so it was nice.

“It was a perfect move for me. I always wanted to play for a London club at some point in my career so it was a no-brainer.

“I would say this transition has been the easiest for me. I don’t know if that’s experience of moving a lot in the past, but it’s been really smooth. The people are great, everybody at the club have looked after me and my family, which has been great. It’s all down to the liaison team, who helped us find a place. It’s been very easy.”

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FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from the Premier League match between West Ham and Aston Villa

Ings’ advice to avoid relegation | ‘Bundles of talent in West Ham dressing room’

Although Ings describes the move as a “no-brainer”, he joined a West Ham side struggling to match the form of past seasons. They find themselves in the relegation zone, one point from safety.

However, the relative safety of 12th place – currently occupied by Crystal Palace – is just three points away in a relegation battle that remains too close to call.

Ings is no stranger to a fight to avoid the drop into the Championship, and offered his own blueprint for keeping your Premier League place.

He said: “Commitment over everything else. Understanding where you are and what needs to be done is crucial. It’s important for people to step up and grab it by the scruff of the neck.

“We haven’t had a game now for a week or 10 days, we’ve been working hard and we’re itching to get back out there and turn things around.

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“He’s world class. He grafts every single day. He’s not just talent, he works extremely hard.

“I’ve been lucky to work with a lot of world-class players and he’s right up there with the very best. He’s one of those players you have to train with every day to see his qualities.

“He makes everything look so easy and so straight forward in his role. He leads the team and does a great job at that. He’s for sure world class.”

“As a striker, you always have those pressures [to hit the ground running], no matter where you are really. Moving in January was a new thing for me. I know that I’ve come here to score goals and help the team.

“Before I came, they weren’t in the best position and they’re still not now. But we’re committed every single day to change that.

“If any team has success in recent seasons, the expectation is higher. Teams have difficult seasons, it’s just the way the league goes and there’s so much quality in that as well.

“It’s definitely hard because the fans are very passionate and the lads want to deliver what they want every single week.

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“The league is so tough, some games don’t go the way you want it to and then other days, we have extremely good days where we roll over teams and everything is great again. It’s the highs and lows of being a footballer. “

Ings is also certain West Ham have the talent in their squad to avoid a return to English football’s second tier.

“Before I signed, you look at the squad and see the talent in the room and how much West Ham have achieved in the last few seasons. It was a good move and one I was looking forward to,” he added.

“The last few seasons, I’ve hated playing against West Ham. I don’t think I’ve actually scored against them, so I knew how good the squad was.

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As part of the Premier League Primary Stars programme, watch the heart-warming moment a surprise visit from West Ham’s Michail Antonio left these school kids absolutely speechless

“But being in training with them every day and seeing the quality, it’s obvious. I don’t think you achieve what they have over the last couple of seasons without that. There’s bundles of talent within that dressing room.

“But having the talent in the squad is never enough, as everybody knows, the Premier League is so difficult.

“For us, we need to make sure we’re giving 100 per cent day in, day out because it’s a very difficult time and a lot of good teams in this league that we need to beat.

“We’ve definitely got more than enough ability within the dressing room to do that. But there is a lot of work between now and the end of the season to make sure that happens. There’s a lot of good teams in and around it. For us, we know exactly how much work needs to be done to get the job done.”

Danny Ings on his time at Liverpool…

“I went there and the squad was very big at the time, there were a lot of strikers. I didn’t expect to play, I was still pretty young, but to play as much as I did at the start, I surprised myself .

“To then make my England debut, it was huge for me and I knew it would give me confidence and help me mature as a player as well.

“Then in Jurgen’s first training session, for me to get injured, it’s one of those things. You hear plenty of stories all around the world with players and everybody has their own journey.

“In terms of what if, you just don’t know. Could I have stayed at the club, stayed fit and played for him a lot more? You just don’t know how it’s going to turn out.

“When you saw the team evolve under Jurgen and when I was back fit, they were a completely different team in terms of success and everyone was well-drilled in the philosophy he implemented.

“I learned a lot even if I wasn’t out on the training pitch, just by watching the style and it was a good experience.”

Ings focused on West Ham ahead of Saints reunion

Southampton are one of the teams vying for Premier League survival. They are bottom of the table by a point, and under new manager Ruben Selles, hot on the heels of the teams above them – including West Ham.

But despite Ings’ connections to Southampton as a club and a city, he is solely focused on the job he has to do for his current team.

“It’s a massive game,” he said of the match against the Saints, live on Sky Sports. “It’s a home game and we’ve been pretty good at home recently.

Danny Ings has strong ties to Southampton, but says he is only focused on the job at hand with West Ham
Danny Ings has strong ties to Southampton, but says he is only focused on the job at hand with West Ham

“It’s going to be extremely difficult, both teams fighting for the points, it’s vital. I spent a really good few years at Southampton, I’ve got great friends there, but I’m at West Ham now and that’s where I need to give it everything. That’s why I signed. Everyone knows that no matter where I am, what club I’m at, I’ll always give it 100 per cent.

“I don’t think it is difficult [to separate his hometown club and his current club] because I’m there to do a job for my team and that’s exactly what I have to do. If you start overthinking things, you won’t bring out your best abilities in that game.

“For me, I look at it as just another game and I’ve got to make sure I give my all for the team, whether I start or come from the bench, I have to try and help West Ham in any way I can .”

Watch West Ham vs Southampton live on Sky Sports Premier League and Main Event from 1pm on Super Sunday; kick off 2pm

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