To: Crystal Palace
Fee: On Loan
Fleet-footed Ince began his career at Liverpool but left Anfield in 2011 having grown exasperated at a lack of first-team football. A solitary appearance as a substitute in a League Cup game was sum of his efforts in red, before he concluded his future lay elsewhere in readily agreeing a two-year-old deal at Blackpool, on the back of a short-lived stint on-loan at Notts County. Unlike his father, Paul, it seems, Ince jnr does indeed like to be by the seaside (or at least did) as he plundered 31 goals in 100 appearances beneath the north west's Eiffel Tower. With a turn of pace, eye for goal and a willingness to run at his man, Ince is firmly established as one of the Football League's brightest talents and will now look to prove he is capable of stepping up a level. His appearances for the England Under 21 side, where he is now a regular, suggest it should not be beyond him. He will also want to try and force a way in to the senior England setup ahead of the summer's World Cup in Brazil.
Ince in 2013: "You have got to have a great work ethic. It is great having the ability and the attitude but you have to work hard at your craft."
Sky Sports' Peter Beagrie: "If a summer in South America comes a tad too soon for Tom, I see him earning regular international honours in the future because of his attitude as well as his mentality and self-belief."
Linked with almost every Premier League club, and even French giants Monaco, over the past 12 months, Ince's ability is not in doubt. Pace, speed while running with the ball, and an eye for goal make him the ideal winger in the modern game. And with Tony Pulis seemingly have sorted out Palace's lack of defensive organisation, Ince will now add some more attacking threat. He has that little bit of an 'X factor' to surprise defenders and will give Palace that extra spark for Premier League survival.
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Will Ince be committed to the cause having held talks with several other clubs? Will he be able to make the step up to the Premier League? Why did the likes of Liverpool decide against signing Ince in the past? There is more than one question mark against the youngster which is why his signing must be viewed as a gamble. If it does not come off, both Palace and Ince will look a little foolish.
Palace have signed a player with undisputed skills, plus he will want to prove he is Premier League class in the season-long loan before considering other options in the summer. Palace had struggled to replace the catalyst of Wilfried Zaha and Ince is the ideal replacement. Player and club should benefit from this deal.
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