Liverpool’s goal hauling, injury suffering frontman Danny Ings has had a big question mark above his head for some time now. But as we creep closer to the summer transfer window, Ings’ future at Anfield is more doubtful than ever.
Ings arrived at Liverpool in 2015 after Brendan Rodgers swooped in for Burnley’s rising starlet striker. His 2013/14 season saw him score 22 goals and earn the Championship Player of the Year title.
After Burnley gained promotion to the Premier League, Ings continued his impressive form and scored five goals in six appearances. He netted 11 overall and soon after the season ended, Liverpool came knocking.
Sadly for the young forward, he wasn’t far into his new club era before his career-changing injury. As a Claret, the youngster damaged both of his knees but went on to make full recoveries. But during his first Melwood session under Jurgen Klopp, Ings suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.
However, he defied health expectations and returned sooner than anticipated – coming on as a substitute during the final match of the season.
His 2016/17 campaign involved a lot of action in the reserves team to help regain his fitness. He made two senior appearances, the second of which continued his dreadful injury run. During the EFL Cup clash against Tottenham, Ings damaged the ligaments in his other knee whilst going in for a tackle. His time with the first team has been severely limited since then.
A super sub or a first choice forward?
Despite several serious injuries and months and months spent out of action, it isn’t in Danny Ings’ nature to just give up.
This season he has been named as a substitute in several first team games. Liverpool’s recent showstopper against Watford had Ings replace Roberto Firmino for the final ten minutes of the game.
Minutes after coming on, Ings almost grabbed the Reds’ fifth goal of the day. His scoring opportunity created a golden chance for Mohamed Salah to net his double brace. The Number 28 also stood out against Bristol U23s where he pulled off an exceptional four goal performance.
His presence on the pitch gives Liverpool that extra bit of energy needed to see out the last of the match. Ings uses his relentless speed to pressurise the opposition and get into threatening positions – the perfect weapon to bring on to spice things up.
With Firmino being the Reds’ main choice striker, a lot of pressure rests on his shoulders. If the Brazilian was to pick up an injury, is Danny Ings strong enough to step in? Is he more of a super substitute as opposed to first choice contender?
Klopp’s front three are the most deadly in the Premier League. Combined, the trio have racked up 50 Premier League goals alone.
With Ings severely lacking in senior team minutes, his experience with the rest of the squad will be rusty to say the least. The chemistry that Firmino, Salah and Sadio Mané have isn’t something that can be quickly learned in the panic of an injury.
Ings vs Solanke vs Werner
After scooping up prospect Dominic Solanke after his England U20 success, fans have been eager to see him play more of a part in the first team. Usually being subbed on with less than ten minutes to go, the lad is yet to showcase his full ability. His speed and vision is definitely going to be a vital asset when he becomes a senior regular.
But with a player five years his junior, plus Liverpool’s rumoured links to Timo Werner, where would Danny Ings slot into the team?
Werner would be an incredible addition to Klopp’s system, providing rotation or even a strike partner for Firmino. But the potential arrival of the German could completely phase Ings out of the team.
The club have stated they’re reluctant to let the frontman go but with no guaranteed play time, will Ings be looking for a move?
Despite his unfortunate injury history, Ings is still only 25-years-old and could be an essential player to a lower league club. Are Liverpool just holding on for the sake of it? It’s unfair to keep hold of a young player with no promise of any action.
Ings deserves to be banging in the goals and being the face of his team. With Liverpool’s Fab Three stealing the show, there’s almost no room for another star.
Is it best if the club let him go and give him the best chance of a successful career? What’s most important, success for the individual or depth for the club?
Written by Georgia Goulding
Follow Georgia on Twitter @gjgoulding
Check out her excellent football blog: Football, Findings and Fiction
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