Saturday, June 12, 2021

Danny Ings: A Heartwarming Story

Danny Ings has scored 7 goals in the Premier League this season. He was also the joint second top goalscorer last season, with 22 goals.

Ings has rejuvenated his career after an injury struck time with Liverpool. He suffered an ACL injury in Jürgen Klopp’s first training session at the club and would suffer another nine month layoff a season later due to knee trouble.

He never got a break at Liverpool and was sent on loan to Southampton before making that move permanent. He has never looked back since. This makes Ings’ story one of the more heartwarming ones in recent memory.

Danny Ings’ Time At Burnley

Danny Ings first caught the eye of the country during his time with Burnley. He scored 21 goals in the Championship during the 2013/14 season as they earned promotion to the Premier League.

He earned individual honours that season as he won Football League Championship Player Of The Year.

He would go on to score eleven Premier League goals during the 2014/15 season. Burnley would end up relegated.

Ings was still highly touted and was expected to stay in the Premier League.

This is exactly what happened as Liverpool signed Ings.

A Difficult Spell At Liverpool

Ings was never expected to be the main man but had an encouraging start, including the goal he scored in Liverpool’s 1-1 draw against Everton in the Merseyside derby. This would be Brendan Rodgers’ last game as manager. He was sacked and Klopp was brought in.

The aforementioned injury to Ings coincided with the improvement in Roberto Firmino who signed from Hoffenheim the same summer as Ings.

By the time Ings came back in, Firmino had established himself as a key cog in the Jürgen Klopp wheel and has been an ever-present since.

Danny Ings celebrates with Jürgen Klopp and Roberto Firmino in Rome after they reached the 2018 Champions League Final. Ings was an unused substitute.

Liverpool would go on to buy Sadio Mané and Mohamed Salah in the following two summers and the front three was never going to be changed.

Ings gave his best when he was fit and you have to commend him for wanting to fight for his place. In the end, enough was enough.

Perhaps Ings may have had a chance with Klopp had that injury happened so early on in the German’s tenure. However, in butterfly effect fashion, Firmino may never have gone on to become the Liverpool great that he has managed to do.

The Rise Of Ings On The South Coast

Danny Ings after signing for Southampton

Southampton had tried but failed in their search for a goalscorer up front.

Graziano Pellè scored 23 league goals in two seasons at the club. Manolo Gabbiadini started off well as the replacement for Pellè’ but faded after a good start. Guido Carrillo never did enough to warrant the number 9 shirt.

Southampton took a punt on Ings, who has managed to become be striker Southampton missed after Pellé left for China.

Ings is now the key figure in the Southampton attack. If he is not there, then it would see the Saints’ form drop massively.

Ings’ story should be one to inspire young aspiring footballers everywhere.

Ings had not one but two season ending injuries but has not let this get to him. He tried his absolute best but it sadly didn’t work out at Liverpool. Despite this, Ings has managed to get his career back on track and has become one of the best strikers in the country.

Whenever Liverpool and Southampton have met since Ings moved to the Saints, his relationship with the team has remained. This was evident when he came up against his former team mates last season.

Liverpool beat Southampton 3-0 at Anfield last season. After the game, Ings comes on the pitch to see his ex teammates. The first two players you see with Ings are Salah and Firmino.

You will then see Klopp hug Ings before players such as Virgil Van Dijk come up to the Englishman.

Before the game, in the week building up, Klopp had some nice words to say about his former striker.

“With Ingsy, he is a very likeable person. He had a very good relationship with all the staff members as they created a special relationship”.

“Seeing him now performing like this is wonderful. Really nice to see. It feels still a little bit like he is ours but he is not.”

This shows what they all think of their ex teammate. Many players have played against former clubs in the past but it is hard to think of many others having this treatment from their former manager and colleagues. This is a testament to both Ings as an individual but also as a player.

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