Fulham

Transfer Battle: Aleksandar Mitrovic vs Danny Ings

After disappointing results on the Premier League’s opening weekend, both Fulham and Southampton have since managed to claim four points with the latter picking up their first win of the season at the start of this month against Crystal Palace.

And much credit has to go to summer signings Aleksandar Mitrovic and Danny Ings, who have both started the new campaign in fine form for their respective clubs.

Mitrovic has already netted four goals for Fulham, including a brace against Burnley in his side’s 4-2 win, while Ings scored the opener for Southampton as they beat Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park.

Undoubtedly, the pair have big roles to play at Fulham and Southampton this season, but which club ended up with the better striker?

Aleksandar Mitrovic

Mitrovic enters this campaign with a point to prove having not always enjoyed the best of times in his previous stints in the Premier League at Newcastle under Steve McClaren and Rafael Benitez.

Since his last spell in English football’s top flight, Mitrovic has spent a season out on loan with Fulham in the Championship where he helped the west London side to win promotion back to the Premier League and did enough to convince the club that it would be worth spending £22m (via BBC Sport) in the summer to bring him to Craven Cottage permanently.

And the 23-year-old, thus far, is repaying the faith shown in him by Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic and owner Shahid Khan.

It is not just the goals that he has brought to west London, though, that has made Fulham’s decision to fork out on him a good one.

Mitrovic’s overall centre-forward play has been extremely efficient, while his dominance in aerial duels will make him a handful for Premier League defenders up and down the country.

If Mitrovic can continue playing at this level — or close to it — Fulham will not have to worry about relegation.

TT Grade: B+

Danny Ings

For Ings, it has never been a question of ability, but rather if he could stay fit. In his debut Premier League campaign back in the 2014/15 season, the 26-year-old scored 11 goals in 35 appearances for a very conservative Burnley side, void of much creativity.

Ings’ impressive displays that term caught the attention of Mauricio Pochettino and Tottenham (via Sky Sports) before a move to Liverpool eventually materialised for the striker.

However, his dream move to Anfield did not pan out the way he would have liked after picking up two serious knee injuries.

Ings now finds himself at Southampton — the club he supported as a boy — and has probably been the team’s best player so far.

The England international has looked dangerous in and around the box and is already starting to strike up a partnership up front with Charlie Austin.

Last season, the Saints had a lot of troubles in front of goal. But, if Ings can stay injury free, then it could be problem solved in that department.

TT Grade: B

TT Verdict:

It is still early days, but Fulham and Southampton have looked to acquire two very good strikers that have improved their teams drastically.

Southampton, in particular, were in desperate need of a new centre-forward given the difficulties the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long had when it came to scoring goals, while Austin endured his own sorts of problems with injuries.

Therefore, Saints boss Mark Hughes has done well to bring Ings in on loan with the view to a permanent with the former Burnley man already starting to deliver the goods.

That being said, Mitrovic’s start to this new campaign has been brilliant and, given Ings’ recent record with injuries, the Serbia international looks to be the more reliable No.9 between the two.

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