After a disappointing start to the season, things have since picked up for Southampton, and the club’s improvement has partly been down to Danny Ings.
Ings arrived at St. Mary’s on loan from Liverpool on deadline day and has managed to net three times in five appearances for his new side, helping them get some points on the board in the process following back-to-back defeats against Everton and Leicester City last month.
And the 26-year-old is now relishing the chance to become a key figure in the squad.
Speaking to the Daily Mail on his Liverpool exit, Ings said: “There is a part of me that will miss them, as Liverpool is a club of such magnitude. I was part of a squad that reached the Champions League final last year. But the feeling [of being important] is something I’ve craved for a long time.
“I want to show people what I can do again. You know how hard I have worked to get to this moment. I feel like I have developed a lot, even though I have missed a lot of football. That’s why I took the No 9 shirt.”
Having finally overcome all of his injury problems, £7.2m-rated (via Transfermarkt) Ings would have felt he had the fitness and ability needed to be a useful asset to Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool this season.
However, with Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino’s spots in the team virtually untouchable while Daniel Sturridge is up and firing again, it would have been impractical for Ings to have remain at Anfield as someone desperate to become an integral part of a team.
In contrast, at Southampton, with the likes of Manolo Gabbiadini and Shane Long misfiring, Ings has been able to quickly cement a position in manager Mark Hughes’ starting XI and almost instantly become one of the most important members in the squad.
Furthermore, Ings made the right decision leaving Liverpool this summer.