Former Liverpool winger Tom Ince has revealed that the need for first team football is what forced him to leave the Reds in 2011 on loan to Notts County and then permanently to Blackpool.
Ince was speaking to the Telegraph and said, “I had a great schooling at Liverpool. But when I had a year left on my contract, Roy Hodgson had just taken over, he was under pressure straight away. I just thought I needed first team football if I was going to progress and, because of that pressure to succeed, there didn’t seem much chance of getting it there.”
“My decision to come away from academy football and go into the real world was the best move I ever made,”
“That is what completed my education. Playing with men who go out on a Saturday when it means something to them, it built me physically and mentally. I say to any kid at 18, if you get the chance to play in the first team of a lower division club, take it. It’s so much better than playing in development football.”
Now Ince is living his dream and playing regularly for Blackpool even though they are in the Championship. As he pointed out, it is much better for the development of a young player to be playing regularly in a competitive league than playing Academy or reserve team football. We have seen this already in how well Suso is doing out on loan at Almeria in La Liga. It may be necessary for Brendan Rodgers to send out a couple more of the youngsters out on loan.
Some fans say it was a mistake to let Ince leave Liverpool but on the other hand, he may not have blossomed to be the great winger he is now if he had remained at Liverpool and not playing in the first team.
Following is prolific rise at Blackpool, Ince has been linked with a return to Liverpool on many occasions. It was thought that the England Under 21 winger would have left Blackpool in the summer with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham interested in his signature but he opted to stay with his father at Blackpool. I am sure if Ince continues to play well for Blackpool for the rest of the season, top Premier League clubs will be knocking on the door for him again and the time may finally be right for him to make the step into the Premier League.