By Kevin Phillips

10th Aug, 2021 | 8:00am

Whelan predicts top-six finish as Ings footage emerges from Aston Villa

Noel Whelan has tipped Aston Villa new-boy Danny Ings to better his 2020-21 goal tally of 13 this season.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the former Leeds and Middlesbrough forward backed the 29-year-old to “thrive” off the service provided by the likes of Emiliano Buendia, Leon Bailey and John McGinn.

Ings scored on his non-competitive debut for Villa in a 3-1 win over Salernitana on Sunday.

According to Sky Sports August 4th, Villa signed the England international from Southampton for a fee of £25million.

He put pen to paper on a three-year contract at Villa Park.

When asked how many goals he expected Ings to score next season, Whelan told Football Insider‘s Dylan Childs: “The move came totally out of the blue.

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“They got the job done quickly before any other club could come in. Straight away they are seeing the rewards of that with the goal.

“The recruitment, knowing that they were going to lose Jack Grealish, has been fantastic. They’ve earmarked players early and acted early.

“I think a top six finish is a realistic target for them this season, even without Grealish.

“Ings will thrive off the service provided by Bailey, Buendia, McGinn etc. I would expect him to easily surpass the 14 goals he got last year. I think he will be around the 20 mark.

“£25million is not a lot of money for a striker who scores you that many in a season.”

In other news, Phillips ‘wowed’ by Aston Villa recruitment update and tips major system change.