Blackpool shot to the top of the Championship table yesterday after a more than convincing 6-0 thrashing of Ipswich Town, inspired by one man – Thomas Ince.
The son of former England international, Paul, Tom is a quick attacking midfielder, usually used on the left hand side.
He began his career at the academy of Liverpool, where he signed his first professional contract in 2010. He has also been on loan at Notts County before moving to the seaside town in 2011.
He has also represented England at Under 17 and 19 level, making four appearances for each and has been tipped for bright things in the coming few seasons.
Despite having one of England’s greatest internationals as his father, it wasn’t Paul Ince who Tom inspired to be throughout his early career.
Thomas was much more interested in emulating the ability of Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs. He told The Daily Mail earlier in 2012: ‘I am so proud of my dad, and really value his advice and guidance, but we are not at all alike as players or in personality,’
‘In fact, I’m the opposite to him in many ways. He has this stern look and has an opinion about most things, whereas I am a lot quieter, much more laid back.
‘While he was a midfield enforcer, I was always much more interested in taking the ball past players, rather than off them. My idol has always been Ryan Giggs, and it is weird to think he lodged with us for six months when he started out at (Manchester) United.
‘I was only really small, but he kicked a ball about with me in the garden, and I do sometimes wonder if that influenced how I turned out. I always favoured my left foot and always played on the wing, if we had a game in the school playground or on a pitch.
‘Like other kids, we’d pretend to be our heroes, and I always said I was Ryan Giggs. The others would look at me and say, “What about your dad? You’ve got to be Incey.” But I’d just reply, “No, I’m Giggsy”, and when they saw the ball on my left foot all the time, they could see why.’
Obviously having the potential of young Thomas Ince attracts a lot of attention from sides in higher divisions and Swansea have stated their interest in the winger.
However, despite the interest shown, Ian Holloway said after his side’s 6-0 weekend win that he is confident he will be able to hang on to the 20-year-old. “The transfer deadline doesn’t bother me because he’s got his dad [Paul Ince] who understands what is best for him. He knows that Tom needs games to develop and he’s at a very good place at Blackpool to do that. I had a conversation with his dad and he wants his boy to stay here.”
No matter how high the confidence of Ian Holloway is, it will undoubtedly be a challenge to hold on to Ince for the remainder of the transfer window. The remaining six days will be very nervy for the promotion-challenging side.