Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Stuart Pearce hopes Tom Ince can establish himself as an even better player than his father after showing exactly what he can do for England Under-21s last night.
The exciting attacking midfielder capped a man of the match display with a brace as the Young Lions comprehensively disposed of Sweden 4-0 in a friendly at Walsall’s Banks’s Stadium.
His contribution - his first goals at this level - and undoubted potential make him a near certain pick for Under-21 coach Pearce’s squad for June’s European Championship finals in Israel.
Ince is yet to be capped at senior level, something father Paul achieved 52 times while also captaining the Three Lions during a club career which took in the likes of Manchester United, Liverpool and Inter Milan.
Asked whether Ince jnr can be as good as Ince snr, Pearce - a former international team-mate of Paul’s - said: “We hope he’s going to be better, we hope.
“If he emulates Paul then he’s certainly had some career.
“He’s an exciting talent, he’s a different type of player, he’s got clever movement, he’s difficult to nail down for a full-back.
“He’s your typical modern-day winger - happy to run at you out wide but also happy to come off the line and find little areas of space to really hurt the opposition.
“The important thing is he’s very level-headed. And he’s a pleasure to work with.”
Ince, who turned 21 last week, was heavily linked with a January transfer window return to Liverpool - having risen through the club’s Academy - while Reading, Newcastle and Spurs were also linked.
But he has remained with Championship side Blackpool, for the time being at least, where he is guaranteed to start week in, week out and will look to add to his 16 goals over the second half of the season.
“I think there’s a lot of common sense with Tom, he’s above his years there’s no doubt about that,” Pearce added.
“Obviously he’s got his pop (Paul) behind him as well giving him a guiding hand on what’s best for him.
“There was speculation about him leaving the club (Blackpool) and I think maybe one or two offers but I think he’s very level-headed.
“The most important thing is playing for a club at this moment in time and moving to a club who are going to give him a realistic chance of playing regular first-team football.”