Liverpool's summer arrival Danny Ings managed to raise a few eyebrows throughout preseason. Not many expected the former Burnley front-man to make an immediate contribution, but England U21 demonstrated admirable workrate, a good understanding with his new teammates and capped off a string of solid performances with a goal against Adelaide United. The next target was his Premier League debut and, as Liverpool staggered towards a drab 0-0 draw with Stoke City on the opening day, Ings was supposed to get his moment.
Brendan Rodgers summoned the young striker from the bench, who could only watch from the sidelines as Philippe Coutinho, the man he was set to replace, fired Liverpool into the lead. Ushered quickly back to his seat by his relieved manager, Ings knew his Liverpool debut would have to wait, but the young forward doesn't appear to mind. "I was just itching to get on," he recalled to LFCTV GO, "I kept looking at the clock to see how much time I had to make an impression. But you have to be as patient as you can be. Football can be fantastic when you are playing week in, week out, but the toughest times are when you're not starting every week."
It's usually wise not to read too much into a player's words, especially one trying to come to grips with his new surroundings, but with just one game of the season behind us, it seems an odd time for Ings to mention playing time. Still, he can't be blamed for being eager to impress, and the striker insists that when his chance does come, he'll be ready to grasp it with both hands.
"It is important to keep that strong mentality as it's important you are positive around the group. I come in every day with a smile on my face because I know I'm working with good people and fantastic players. I try my best not to leave the training pitch without knowing that I've improved some aspect of my game; whether it's speed, tactical or technical. It's important that I work hard every day to become the best I can be for myself and for Liverpool. It's always important that even if you're on the bench or not starting games, you're always ready to be called upon."
At this early stage, there is no reason to suggest that Danny Ings won't be ready, and if Liverpool's preseason tour was any indication, he'll at the very least be a reliable worker on the pitch. That alone may not be enough to endear him to Liverpool fans, but the mobile striker has all the tools to become a dependable attacking option at Brendan Rodgers' disposal.