January is a busy time for most clubs, after a hectic fixture list finishing on New Years Day. However With the transfer window open, Blackpool will be worrying about holding onto prized asset Tom Ince just as much as the fixture List.
After a busy transfer window last August, the Seasiders managed to hold onto Ince however this time he may not be playing in the Championship by the time February comes around. Cardiff City made an approach for the winger back in August, however the Seasiders retained his services yet after a wonderful start to the season, he may have gained a substantial amount of interest from the Premier League.
Ince began his promising career at Liverpool and after 2 years earned a first team squad placement for a Europa League qualifying match. Although he left the game as an unused substitute, it did mean that he got the experience of a first team match day. After a long period of hard work, Ince earned a debut for Liverpool in the League Cup. He would not go on to make another appearance for the reds and went on loan to Notts County. At Notts County, Ince scored his first ever goal against MK Dons and on to score again in his short loan spell.
The next season he then signed a deal at Blackpool. He impressed a lot after making a League Cup debut for the Seasiders and went on to net his first goal for the club against Doncaster in October. Not only did Ince impress in the first season with his pace, skill and vision but he scored some vital goals for Blackpool. An impressive goal in the Championship Play Off final-One of the 8 he scored all season from the wing, was eye catching and the next season he added with more impressive performances.
Ince netted a fantastic 18 goals the next season however the start of the season he actually received an unknown bid. This bid however was not accepted as his dad believed it would be better to stay with Blackpool. His phenomenal season provoked interest last August to which an £8 Million bid from Cardiff was believed to be accepted. At the last minute he declined personally due to family commitments.
Ince now has had another brilliant season scoring a great 7 goals in 19 games from the wing as well as making various appearances for the England Under 21’s. With the winger a hot prospect and him being the ripe age of 21, a range of clubs are keen to potentially sign him.
So where could Ince go?
Swansea are the favourites to capture the young winger after Chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed that they had been interested in Ince. He stated that an approach had been made and this could be a fantastic move for him offering Europa League football.
With Michu injured, the swans could do with another player contributing goals regularly for them alongside striker Wilfried Bony. With Ince’s pace and trickery similar to Nathan Dyer’s, they could both offer Goalscoring opportunities for the Ivorian striker as well as Goals for himself. The Swans may see him as a valuable asset with room to improve at such a young age as well as him slotting comfortably with Swansea unique style of passing football. This could be the most likely move for him.
The bookies second favourites to sign the exciting prospect as the Merseyside club are enjoying a successful season. With tricky winger Gerard Deloufeu in the side on loan from Barcelona, Ince could learn new knowledge from him. This could be as well as benefitting from potential links from young midfielder Ross Barkley who Ince has player previously with in the England Under 21’s.
Goal machine Romelu Lukaku would be ideal for regular crossing service from Ince as well. Managed Roberto Martinez would be likely to nurture the youngsters skill and talent and potentially develop him into a world class player given the right advice. With such a big club interested in him, father Paul the current Blackpool manager may be prepared to let his son leave to such Premier League heavyweights.
When a club bids once for a player they are highly likely to bid again and with the Welsh club lacking Goalscoring options from the wing they may declare interest in him again. Owner Vincent Tan promised funds for new manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Ince could be the eye catching talent to spend the money on.
If he signed for them he could slot into a wing position ready to cause defenders problems as well as work chances for striker Frazier Campbell. His blistering pace combined with Campbell’s could cause many problems for Defences and with him being young, his development could be key at Cardiff where he may be guaranteed regular football in comparison to other clubs who have been rumoured with signing him.
With a recent contract offer in attempt to keep the winger from the Seasiders, he may decide to stay at Bloomfield Road under the guidance of his Dad. He is settled at the Championship club and could provide the key options needed to help the promotion push from the Tangerines.
It may be hard for Ince to move away from a club where he has had such fantastic success and especially with his family located near he may not want a move to a club far away. After experiencing play-off heartbreak for his beloved Blackpool may he attempt to have one last shot at a promotion with them?
With his contract running out in the summer, Blackpool have to act fast and this morning Monaco have reported interest for him. However other Interest has reportedly been from several Premier League clubs including the likes of his former club Liverpool, Spurs, Newcastle and Villa. Dutch club Ajax have reportedly been interested in securing his signature and the notoriously good youth set up at the club may persuade him to join for his careers development. The real question however is will he stay at the Tangerines which is likely or will he move to the Premier League, with Swansea who are very interested and favourites to have him by February? I believe he will end up at Swansea for £9 Million but Blackpool I also believe could have a good chance of keeping him.