In our latest instalment of the Flashback series, we take a look back at a certain moment and look at how things might have changed those initial reactions.
Over the last five and a half years, the path from Southampton to Liverpool has been a well-trodden one in the footballing world.
Rickie Lambert, Dejan Lovren, Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk have all swapped St. Mary’s for Anfield since the summer of 2014, although one man has bucked the trend by making the move in reverse.
Danny Ings left Merseyside for the south coast in August 2018 in an initial loan move which became permanent this summer, with The Telegraph reporting the fee at £20m.
The England international came to Liverpool in 2015 after scoring 11 Premier League goals for Burnley despite their relegation that year.
Even at that, the injury torment was far from over for Ings. In October 2016, he suffered a serious knee injury that kept him out for 11 months. In his first two years as a Liverpool player, he managed only 11 first-team appearances.
By the time he returned from that injury setback in September 2017, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp had assembled his devastating forward trio of Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah, who would score a whopping 91 goals between them that season.
Ings made only three Premier League starts and 14 appearances in total during 2017/18 and, when he scored against West Brom towards that end of that campaign, it was his first goal for Liverpool under Klopp, who had already been the club’s manager for two and a half years.
Even though he was well-liked by his team-mates and manager, the striker wanted to leave Anfield in 2018 (as per The Times) and, just before the start of last season, the Reds agreed to part ways with him in that loan-to-buy deal with Southampton.
Ings only scored four times in his injury-ravaged Liverpool career but hit twice as many in his first season at St. Mary’s, during which he also equalled his entire Reds appearance tally of 25. [via TransferMarkt]
He has continued to impress in front of goal this season, with five in the Premier League and seven in all competitions for a team languishing in 19th place in the top flight.
Indeed, the Saints have hit just 11 league goals so far this term, almost half of which have come from Ings alone.
His goal tally this season is more than double that of Firmino for Liverpool, but with the Brazilian starting all but one league match so far in 2019/20, the likelihood is that Ings would still be struggling for game-time if he remained at Anfield.
However, the depth of Klopp’s squad is set to be pushed to extreme limits next month as, in the space of 24 hours, Liverpool play Aston Villa in the Carabao Cup and a foreign opponent in the Club World Cup in Qatar, as noted by talkSPORT.
When club action resumes following the international break, the Reds are due to play 14 matches in five competitions in the space of 45 days.
With that intense workload closing in, and with Ings proving a reliable target man in a team struggling to score goals, Liverpool could certainly use him now, although his desire for a fresh start elsewhere after injury ruined his Anfield career was entirely understandable.
Liverpool fans, do you think the club were too quick to let Ings go or did it seem like the right move at the time? Join in the discussion by commenting below!
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