He’s not currently in the first-team picture, but Danny Ings is still setting a fine example in the under-23s. Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge, and Dominic Solanke are all ahead of the 25-year-old in the pecking order so playing for the senior team is unlikely to happen before the January transfer window opens. Ings, of course, has had serious knee injuries that have derailed a promising Liverpool career since his move from Burnley over two years ago.
Ings has suffered two serious injuries in both his left and right knees even though he is still only 25. Think about that. Young players will certainly take notice, and Joe Gomez spent time recovering with his teammate while watching others imbibe the Jürgen Klopp experience. Gomez bounced back after his first serious injury to return to the Liverpool first-team squad and make rapid strides in a fledgling international career. Under-21 captain. First England call-up. At 20, Gomez has everything to look forward to.
When Mamadou Sakho was banished by Klopp, he played his part in helping young players during under-23 games. Ings appears to be doing the same despite his injury struggles and lack of goals. Youngsters need to pay attention to the application and determination despite setback after setback. Perhaps this is part of what it means to be a professional footballer in the top flight.
"Danny deserved that today and we have said the goals have been coming for him,” Critchley told the offical site. "For him to score in the first minute of the game, we were all genuinely made up for him, and you could see the confidence to start flow through him after that.
"His second effort was a typical striker’s goal in the six-yard box and his hat-trick, what a fantastic goal that was, a great finish, and then he gets another one in the second half.
"It's no surprise to us because Danny is a constant threat. He puts himself in goalscoring positions and he is a good finisher – we see that in training, so we are absolutely delighted for Danny.
"His all-round contribution was superb. Danny and Flanno [Jon Flanagan], two top professionals and top people, they coach the lads during the game and they make my job easier.
"Even when we are winning the game you can hear Flanno chatting to the boys about keeping possession and keeping it simple, and Danny was dropping back into midfield and keeping the ball.
"They coach the players on the pitch and they are a pleasure to be around and it’s great for us to have them with the U23s."
Sure, scoring four goals against the Bristol City under-23s may not be as eye-catching as Mohamed Salah’s exploits on Saturday. Yet there is something from Ings’ time at Liverpool that young players would do well to learn from.