Steven Gerrard’s time at Aston Villa has been a puzzling period so far.
The England great arrived in the Midlands with a healthy reputation following his career in Scotland and after the first few weeks, you could see why there was such a buzz about his management skills.
However, sadly the Villans have slipped by the wayside and to coin an old phrase, they’ve been on the beach in the final few months of the season.
Villa may well find it difficult now to finish in the Premier League’s top 10 after a run of form that’s been rather topsy-turvy, but back to back wins prior to their defeat at Liverpool showed there is still quality in the squad.
Philippe Coutinho looks set to sign for the club permanently but it wasn’t the former Red that Klopp waxed lyrical over at full time.
As the Merseysiders came away with a 2-1 victory at Villa Park, Klopp sunk his teeth into the display of the host’s forward line.
Will Ings be a success at Villa next season?
He said in his post-match press conference: “There were one or two moments where we had to defend with the centre-halves in the six-yard box because of the quality of Villa. Ingsy unbelievable, Watkins and these kind of things that’s tricky, but we did it.”
It’s hardly a surprise that Klopp was so effusive in his praise of Ings considering the pair worked together when he played at Anfield but it’s a promising sign for the Villa Park faithful.
There may only be two games of the campaign left but if the former Southampton man really is looking “unbelievable” now, it should delight the supporters at Villa.
After all, this is a player who Dean Smith paid £25m for last summer following the sale of Jack Grealish.
To suggest he’s been good business so far would be lying. The 29-year-old has been rather inconsistent since signing, scoring just seven goals for Villa.
That means that at the moment he’s cost the club a whopping £3.5m per goal.
If Villa are to make this move a worthwhile investment then they’ll need ings at the top of his game heading into next term – a position Klopp clearly believes he’s getting to again.
The German is no stranger to praising opposition players, with the Anfield chief hailing the likes of Jarrod Bowen, Adama Traore and Gabriel Martinelli relentlessly in the past.
Klopp knows an exciting talent when he sees one, so those at Villa should be extremely excited about what the future holds for the forward under Gerrard’s tutelage beyond the current campaign.
A summer of rest and recovery should do the England international the world of good, and then hopefully we’ll see the very best from the “unbelievable” Ings next season.
AND in other news, AVFC can save millions by unleashing “outstanding” 18 and/or who’s a “young Michael Owen”…