Southampton striker Danny Ings will make his long-awaited Anfield return at the weekend since completing a permanent move from Liverpool last summer.
Ings, 27, is currently in the form of his life following a remarkable 2019/20 campaign. The Englishman is currently the fourth top-goalscorer in the Premier League after clocking up 14 league goals in 24 appearances this season.
It will be the first time Ings will have played at the home of the European champions since his departure with the former Burnley star unable to feature last season due to his inaugural Southampton campaign subject of a loan deal.
Ings made just 25 appearances for the Reds during a three-year spell on Merseyside. The former Liverpool man suffered two ACL injuries that saw him practically miss two full seasons for the club.
Because of his torrid time with injury, Liverpool supporters will undoubtedly be delighted to see the sudden revival of a player who endured more setbacks than success during his short stint at the club.
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Ings was initially identified as a long-term replacement to Luis Suarez after Mario Balotelli’s disastrous move from AC Milan in 2014. His maiden season at the club proved promising with the striker on the end of some important goals – including a memorable strike in the Merseyside Derby which was Brendan Rodgers’ last match at the club.
There was, however, one particularly delightful moment for Ings at Liverpool after scoring at the Hawthorns in April 2018. His third goal for the Reds came just under three years since his previous at Goodison – the emotion on display following the strike was one of the iconic moments of Liverpool’s 2017/18 season.
In an interview with the Daily Mail, Ings reveals that former manager Jurgen Klopp attempted to keep him at the club back in 2018 and that he was indeed in the German’s plans for the 2018/19 season.
According to the Mail, an untold story at Liverpool is that Klopp actually wanted to offer Ings a contract extension before he moved to the Saints such was the esteem the Reds boss had for the former Bournemouth striker.
‘The best way to say it is that they didn’t push me out of the door,’ says Ings, whose initial 12-month loan to Southampton became a £20m [BBC Sport] permanent deal on a deal that runs to June 2022.
‘It was in my court to leave. What an experience it was to be among all that, so to have it taken away from me hurt. It really hurt.
‘I just knew I had to go and make a name for myself and be the player I wanted to be.’
It will certainly be a memorable occasion for Ings upon his return to Anfield. His previous outing at the iconic ground came during a six-minute cameo during a 4-0 victory against Brighton nearly two years ago.