Today Tom Ince finalised his transfer to Championship outfit Stoke City for a reported £10 million, which could rise to £12 million with add-ons. Not bad for a player that joined last year for £8 million (rising to £11.3 million with add-ons) and scored a vital goal in our Premier League survival run. Should we be happy or sad that he's gone? Let's take a look.
What did Ince do for us?
Well as we mentioned in the introduction, Tom scored a crucial goal for Town, when he turned home a Zanka pull-back in the dying minutes of the home game against Watford. An argument could be made to say that Ince's goal was worth one bagillion pounds to Town for keeping them in the Premier League.
But apart from that, what did he do? He scored in the 4-1 rout of Birmingham City in the FA Cup and notched in a 1-1 home draw against Stoke on Boxing Day. But football isn't all about goals, it's about assists as well. So how many assists did Tom contribute? None.
To put that into context, that's 4 less than Collin Quaner, a footballer who has had a lot of criticism, mainly from this parish. So statistically, Ince wasn't as productive to the team last term as Collin Quaner, let that sink in...
Why didn't he deliver?
Ince was unable to deliver for Town in the Premier League for one reason and one reason only - mentality. The former Derby man doesn't have the mental fortitude to play in the Premier League - something he showcased during his time with Crystal Palace and Hull City.
Time after time last season Ince would arrive in the perfect goal-scoring position, only to lose his composure. The best example of his profligacy was in his final game for Huddersfield, against Arsenal back in May.
When faced with an onrushing David Ospina, Ince fired over the bar in spectacular fashion, almost sending the ball into fucking orbit.
Against Birmingham in the FA Cup, Ince looked full of confidence and scored a good goal from outside the box, but against teams like Brighton, Bournemouth and West Brom, he looked nervous, tentative and even scared.
What did he bring to Town?
Ince was undoubtedly adept with the ball and technically astute, his passing, running and dribbling were all of Premier League quality. Second to that, his work-rate was of the highest order, no-one could term him as lazy.
His ability to find a player when under pressure from opponents was of huge benefit against some of the better sides in the division, and he was a worthy squad-member.
Will he be a success at Stoke?
Yes, undoubtedly, he has shown throughout his career that the Championship suits his game down to the ground, and in a side like Stoke - who are expected to do well - he will probably be one of the better performers in the league.
However, if Stoke get promoted to the Premier League, expect him to be discarded by January as he simply is not good enough for the Premier League. Darren Huckerby syndrome has finally been renamed Tom Ince syndrome...
Good business for Town?
Excellent business, truly excellent business. The deal represents the biggest transfer fee that the club have ever received, and it's extra good business when you consider that Town bought Ince from Gary Rowett's Derby and sold him to Gary Rowett's Stoke.
Links with Anthony Limbombe continue to persist with an announcement regarding his signing expected imminently. Davy Klassen has also been liked at the staggering amount of £23 million, so the future looks good for Town, and hopefully Ince's departure shouldn't affect the squad too badly.