What’s the word?
The former Aston Villa man joined the Hammers earlier on in January for a reported £15m transfer fee. He arrives in east London to provide David Moyes with an option up top alongside Michail Antonio and Gianluca Scamacca.
The forward actually made his debut for the club on Saturday as West Ham beat Everton 2-0 at home. Ings came off the bench for the last 18 minutes of the game, with Antonio leaving the pitch to make way for the new man.
Scamacca is currently out with a knee injury and so played no part against the Toffees and in his absence, Whelan has backed Ings to establish himself as the best option at the club up top.
Speaking to Football Insider, he said: “I think Ings is a massive signing. I don’t think the fans will appreciate just how big of a signing this is. He was Villa’s top scorer, he’s a great finisher, he scores in different ways – I think he’s the first choice.
“From now until the end of the season, I think he will be very hard to remove from that starting eleven.
“West Ham need to get the best out of Jarrod Bowen, and I think Ings can do that as well. He can bring others into play, he’s strong, he can pass.
“Maybe Scamacca can come in if Moyes wants to play a two-man strikeforce, but Ings has to be the main man now.”
Big call up top
While Antonio played on the weekend, there is no guarantee he remains at the club this winter amid links to Wolves and Everton. What’s more, a £25m bid for Lorient and Nigeria striker Terem Moffi, suggests that the club may be keen on adding more than just Ings to their ranks in January.
The new man did at least bring something to the win over Everton on debut. Indeed, while his cameo was short and the game was already won at that stage, Malik Ouzia noted in the Evening Standard that Ings: “brought energy, both on the pitch and to [the] crowd”.
As mentioned before, Scamacca is out for the time being and while he has done okay this term – with three league goals to his name – Ings is more Premier League proven (and also has six league goals so far ), so Moyes may prefer the Englishman up top.
It remains to be seen how it all plays out but with so much uncertainty over Antonio’s future, and with Scamacca injured, the former Villa man should at least get the chance to impress over the coming weeks.
If he can take his chance, he could end up establishing himself as the club’s main man.