Facing his second serious, season-ending knee injury in two years, the sad reality is that Danny Ings’ Liverpool career is in a very precarious place. According to former Red Steve Nicols, though, it won’t be Ings’ Liverpool career the player is most worried about. It will be his career, period.
“I’m not so sure that at this moment Danny Ings is worried about his future at Liverpool,” Nicol said on ESPN. “I think he’s more worried about does he have a future in professional football. He missed most of last season with a left knee injury, now he’s going to miss this season with a right knee injury.
“For a professional footballer is there anything more important than your knees? You’re doing things at such pace that it puts a lot of strain on your knees, and the fact that he clearly has a weakness in both really means that right now Danny Ings is worried about his career.”
The good news for both Ings and Liverpool may be that, at the end of the current season, he still has three years to run on the contract he signed when he joined from Burnley in 2015. If he can put his injury woes behind him, he will still have time to prove that he belongs at the club.
Yet it can’t be ignored that he will have missed two full seasons, when he was 23 and 24 years old, prime developmental years for any player and often prime performance years for strikers, who tend to be more reliant on their physical skills than others and so often peak early in their careers.
Ings won’t have had those seasons; instead, he will have had two major injuries, one to each knee, that will be expected to limit his physical ability. Right now, it probably is fair to say that Ings will be very, very worried about whether he can still have a meaningful career in football.
Hopefully, he can overcome those concerns and prove that prove that, when it comes to his two season-ending knee injuries, Danny Ings goes on to be remembered as an exception rather than another sad case of a career cut short by injury.