Liverpool may have entered the season amid assertions that their lack of a traditional spearhead striker could come back to haunt them, but after 62 goals in the season’s opening 24 games, those theories have been laid firmly to rest. The attacking quartet of Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mané, Philippe Coutinho and instant fan favourite Mohamed Salah have proven themselves absolutely unplayable at times, notching a total of 46 goals and averaging 2.86 goals per 90 minutes between them.
Such stunning production from an attacking midfielder, two winger-forwards, and a false nine — with the synergistic interplay between the quartet the decisive factor in making them more than the sum of their parts — has meant that chances for the pure centre-forwards have been limited. Daniel Sturridge, Dominic Solanke and Danny Ings have managed less than 800 minutes between them, and with only the 19-year old Solanke at a point in his career where playing time is expected to be sparse, speculation about the futures of the other two has began to gather pace.
Danny Ings’ time at Liverpool has been marred by a pair of devastating knee injuries, and in the 30 months since signing for the club, the former Burnley man has only spent 600 minutes on the pitch. This season, his only inclusion in the matchday squad ended with a 17-minute runout in a 2-0 EFL Cup defeat to Leicester City, and it seems clear his future lies away from Anfield.
His Premier League pedigree is genuine, however, and takers willing to gamble on his knees holding up shouldn’t be too hard to find, particularly amongst teams struggling to score and win to stay in the nation’s top league. As such, relegation candidates Crystal Palace and West Ham and their newly appointed managers are reportedly in the hunt for Ings’ services, in what is rumoured to be a six-month loan deal with an option of making the transfer permanent in the summer, should it prove a success.
The 25-year old has yet to put a foot wrong in his Liverpool career — the times he literally put his feet wrong and ruined his knees notwithstanding — and always appeared a sympathetic character as well as a workhorse team player. One can only hope that his next move is the right one for his career, and anybody associated with LFC will undoubtedly wish him the best of luck.