Callum Molyneaux assesses the disappointing season that Danny Ings has had, with injury ruining what promised to be a fruitful campaign under Jürgen Klopp.
For Danny Ings, it was another season to forget, unfortunately. Another season where injury forced him to only watch his teammates week in, week out, instead of training and getting ready to be in the squad.
The start of the season seemed promising for Ings. Having returned at the end of the previous season, with a 10-minute cameo against West Brom, it seemed that Ings would be a part of Klopp’s plans. He had a successful pre-season, scoring a few goals and more importantly, building up match fitness.
Despite his impressive pre-season, Ings didn’t make a Premier League appearance in the 2016/17 season. Klopp was not ready to play Ings, and it was understandable due to the cruciate knee ligament injury he suffered in the 2015/16 season. Despite the lack of game time, Klopp is a massive fan of Ings and was part of his plans for the season ahead.
Ings made just two appearances for Liverpool this season, both in EFL Cup games against Derby County and Tottenham Hotspur respectfully. Both were substitute appearances, and he made an impact coming off the bench against Spurs, where unfortunately he suffered an injury which meant he wasn’t going to play any part for the rest of the season.
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It was a real shame as Jürgen Klopp previously mentioned that Ings would play a role throughout the season and that getting him match fit was important so he could feature more in the team.
Klopp also mentioned that he was impressed with the attitude shown by Ings, and his reaction to getting injured the first time. I’m sure that if Ings was fully fit for the season, he certainly would have played more games and would have made an impact on the team.
What next for Ings?
Jürgen Klopp has got a decision to make regarding the future of Danny Ings this summer. It’s been near enough two seasons now where Ings has been injured. What also we need to remember that Ings was a Brendan Rodgers’ signing, so does Klopp even have Ings in his plans?
For me, I think he should stay. Danny Ings can offer a lot to Liverpool in the future when he returns from injury. There were times throughout the season when Liverpool needed a forward player to run in behind and stretch the opponents defence, especially against teams that we found difficult to break down.
Ings’ pace was also missed when Sadio Mané left for the AFCON in January because it meant we had a lack of attacking options, which also meant we lacked pace up front, something that Ings possesses.
The return to the Champions League also means that Liverpool could be playing 50-60 games next season, which means that we need a strong squad. It means that players like Ings will get games next season.
He is also a different type of striker compared to the other strikers we’ve got. As mentioned previously, he likes to run in behind, whereas Liverpool’s other strikers prefer to come to the ball.
Danny Ings has shown brilliant resilience and character since his injury, working hard to get back with the squad in time for pre-season. He is Klopp’s type of player, a hard working, pressing player, and hopefully, he gets a chance to shine next season.