Danny Ings is a player close to my heart. A player with bags of potential but just as much bad luck. Injury after injury has halted what promised to be an exciting career. Is this last-minute loan to Southampton the career-defining moment for Ings or is it just another chapter in his book of unfortunate events?
The Winchester-born forward started his career not far from the Saints ground at AFC Bournemouth. He started his professional career on loan to no other than Dorchester Town. That’s right, Ings started from all the way down in the Conference South and I have the audacity to question if he has reached his potential!
See, Ings is a special kind of player. First of all, he’s an English striker who has come through the leagues to surpass all expectations. Secondly, He’s an underdog and who doesn’t love that? And finally, He knows where the back of the net is. He epitomises the dream of every lower and non-league footballer. Just like Vardy and Lambert, he shows that anything is possible even with injury setbacks.
So how does a player with such calibre end up playing only 14 Premier League games in the span of three years? Simple, injury after injury after injury. The first came on very first training session of the new manager Jurgen Klopp where he suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury which kept him out for a whole season. Just as it appeared the Englishman had put his injury behind him, disaster struck again. The same knee, with the same old problem. This time, however, the damage was worse. Ings’ rehabilitation time was nine months enough to make him miss another season. Safe to say it hasn’t been his past couple of years.
Now, with all this finally behind him and in the peak of his playing career at 28, Ings is looking to continue to defy expectations. Although Ings is a risk for Southampton, it’s a necessary one. They need a striker, one who knows how to finish.
The Saints attack was poor last year with all four strikers scoring a combined total of 14 goals. A tally which Ings almost matched back in 2015 with 11 goals in his first season in the Prem.
Ings leaves knowing that there is still a chance to save his Liverpool career. Perform well and you come back giving Klopp a well-wanted selection headache. However, failure to live up to expectations will leave Liverpool with no choice but to mark him as surplus to requirements. All up to you now, Danny boy.