Southampton striker Danny Ings is currently in the form of his life ahead of his long-awaited return to Anfield on Saturday.
The former Liverpool star has taken the Premier League by storm since completing his £20m [BBC Sport] move to the Saints last summer. Ings has been in the glut of goals that have had a substantial impact of the club’s recent revival of form that sees them just nine points off of the top-four.
Ings, 27, will return to the home of the European champions for the first time since leaving the club in 2018 following a Liverpool tenure that was riddled by injury. He made just 25 appearances during three years on Merseyside following an £8m [BBC Sport] move in 2015 – he scored just four goals.
However, his revival this season under Ralph Hassenhuttl has been stark. The in-form PL forward has clocked up 27 appearances this season and has scored an impressive 16 goals in that time.
The former Burnley star has recently been touted with a long-awaited return to the England national team with his only previous appearance for the Three Lions taking place back in October 2015.
Ings finally lifted the lid on the challenge that came with such a career-threatening injury and Ings spoke in-depth to just how indebted he feels to his former club with the striker now physically and mentally thriving on and off the pitch.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, Ings confessed: ‘None of what I’m about to say is really well known. ‘They were long days, it was hard work and Matt was the frontman. The staff there were incredible with me.
‘From start to finish, nothing was too much trouble for them. The days weren’t just long for me, they were long for them, too. They had families at home to go to but they were staying with me. The effort they put into me, without that detail… that is the reason I am back in this shape now.
‘I did running mechanics at John Moores University and also at an athletic centre in Manchester to see how much weight was going through each leg, to make sure that when I was back on the grass everything was the same on both sides. They saved me. I would say so, definitely.’
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Ing’s time at Anfield is perhaps one of the sadder tales during a recent period of such unprecedented success for the club.
The Southampton striker was a popular figure at Anfield — he even was part of a breakfast club that consisted of Jordan Henderson, James Milner and Adam Lallana.
Liverpool were never happy to offload Ings with Klopp adamant the Englishman was in in his plans for the 2018/19 campaign. There is no question that if Ings were not to have suffered such a serious injury in the early stages of his Liverpool career that he would have been a success on Merseyside and potentially the long-term cover option for Roberto Firmino.
However, the gamble to leave Liverpool has paid off spectacularly and Ings is now tipped as an option for Gareth Southgate at Euro 2020