In the early part of the turbulent 2015-16 campaign, Danny Ings represented one of the few bright spots in an otherwise toothless attack. His brightest of bright spots came four minutes before halftime at Goodison Park during the Derby, nodding home a goal to send Liverpool into the lead. The euphoria didn’t even make it until the break. Romelu Lukaku equalized, and the game ended in a disappointing draw. Then Brendan Rodgers was fired. And then Ings blew his ACL in the first training session under Klopp.
Although Ings’s impressive work rate and nose for goal seemed to fit Jürgen Klopp’s style, it was impossible to say what was really on the manager’s mind. Yesterday, Klopp appeared to put any such questions to bed.
“It’s not the same situation as the other two (Balotelli and Benteke),” Klopp said during the pre-match presser. “We’re counting on Ingsy. Ingsy is a fantastic boy. He was injured since October last year and he needed time. That’s how it is.”
The level of candor was surprising, even for someone as open about his feelings as Kloppo. The Liverpool boss has spoken separately about “the other two,” more or less saying that neither Balotelli nor Benteke are part of his plans going forward. That Klopp sees a spot for Ingsy ahead of the others—both highly talented strikers in their own right—says a lot about how impressed he is with the former Burnley man.
“Now he’s getting better and better,” Klopp continued. “He knows himself that in the first two or three weeks of pre-season even though he scored in the games it was too intense for him.”
Klopp concluded by saying that Ings is still getting back up to full speed, and getting comfortable in training again. Ending with a typical Klopp-ism, “But now he’s in a really good way.”
Ings is still unlikely to see a great deal of minutes this season considering the competition at striker and across the attacking band of midfielders. Hopefully when he does see the pitch, he can take his chances and become the Kuyt-esque star we were all hoping he would become last season.