The ex-Burnley striker completed a move to Liverpool on the 8th June 2015 after a successful spell with the relegated northern side. His partnership with Sam Vokes at Burnley was emphatic and the two were crucial to the Clarets’ rise to the Premier League.
The Vokes-Ings partnership was never fully unleashed in the top flight as Danny’s strike partner suffered an ACL injury, the same fateful set-back Ings now suffers with, before Burnley kick-started their Premier League contest.
During the 2013-14 season, Ings notched up 20 goals and between the two of the front men, they netted 40 goals, an equal share of the spoils. Danny Ings’ managed a tally of 11 goals in Burnley’s fight to stay up the following season – an impressive total for a club that were still relegated. His goal-scoring ability made domestic clubs fear the striker and it wasn’t long before his efforts at club level were recognised and he was called up for international duty under Roy Hodgson.
Danny Ings’ football career began at Bournemouth at the age of 17 when he made his debut for the first team in a Football League Trophy match against Northampton Town. He quickly became known as a goal-scorer, and his time with Bournemouth and Burnley warranted an estimated £10m transfer fee to Liverpool. By the time he came to the Premier League with Burnley, Ings had showcased himself as a clinical finisher, with pace and good movement off the ball. In four seasons with the Clarets, he scored 43 goals in 130 appearances. He was praised by team-mates and managers for his work rate and he always had an eye for goal-scoring chances. The 2014-15 season, his first playing in the Premier League, was his most impressive yet – averaging a goal every 2.8 shots in the league. Liverpool hoped the England forward would add to their suffering goal tally, which has simmered since the absence of Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge’s partnership in the 2013-14 season.
Since joining Liverpool, Ings has been absent from the squad for 230 days and has missed 44 games already this season due to suffering from a ruptured Anterior Cruciate Ligament in his knee. He’s yet to feature under Jurgen Klopp, picking up the injury days after playing for England against Lithuania and in his first training session after the German’s arrival. He is no doubt frustrated not to be fighting for a place in Klopp’s long-term plans for the club. His last game, in which he scored an equaliser, was on 4th October against Everton in the Merseyside derby, and was probably the last match he’ll feature in the 2015-16 domestic season for Liverpool. Coincidentally, Ings is one of several players to have suffered knee injuries already this seaso: Joe Gomez, Mamadou Sakho and Jon Flannagan (carried over from the previous season) are amongst the other victims whilst Liverpool’s hamstring injury ‘plague’ list has consisted of a total of eight players already this season.
Before his injury, Ings had made eight appearances for Liverpool, including five starts and September saw him feature in five consecutive games – proving to be his most consistent period for the Reds. Ings netted three times, including a vital goal against Everton before picking up his ACL damage. The performances of the striker were starting to improve and Liverpool fans were beginning to see the best of Ings. One feature of his play, which has always been applauded, is his work rate. He’s also a great aerial threat and likes to play the ball on the ground and dribble at attackers. In his absence, Cristian Benteke has been highly criticised for his lack of movement and Ings’ return to fitness could be the missing piece of the puzzle – adding more movement and goals to the Liverpool attack.
Ings, whose international career only began in 2015, has missed the opportunity to feature in Roy Hodgson’s squad on two occasions since his injury, including friendlies against Spain and France. During his time on the sidelines, Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have grown into respected members of the England squad and Wayne Rooney has added further consolidation to his role as captain by becoming the national side’s all-time top goal scorer.
Danny Ings isn’t expected to be back in action until the end of the season but when he does, there’s sure to be excitement surrounding his return. He gives hope to Reds fans that when he’s back, Liverpool’s goal tally might increase. The 23 year-old holds great potential and possesses qualities Klopp admires. A lot of Jurgen Klopp’s Dortmund play was based on skills Ings has in his locker and the German boss will surely relish the opportunity to fine-tune the England striker. Not only will Ings push for a place in Klopp’s Liverpool side, he will hope to return to the national set-up under Roy Hodgson and must already have his eyes on the World Cup in Rio. Lack of football and competitive action will be a tough hurdle to overcome but if Ings can prove his form and fitness quickly, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be considered. For Liverpool, his return is only a positive and if he is back in action before the end of the campaign, it’ll be a bonus for Klopp’s side.