Southampton left it late, extremely late in fact, on transfer deadline day as boss Mark Hughes completed his fifth and final signing of the summer in Danny Ings, who was lured over to St Mary’s on a season-long loan deal ahead of a permanent move next summer.
The Saints struggled in front of goal during a forgettable 2017/18 season, but it’s hoped that the signing of Ings will not only revitalise their attack, but rejuvenate his own career.
A Local Lad
Ings is a local lad who was born 12 miles up the road in Winchester, grew up in Netley, and supported Southampton in his youth. In his first interview as a Saints player he revealed that he was not only over the moon to come home and be close to his family, but his genuine excitement to start a new journey in his career, while he also passionately grabbed the badge in the obligatory introduction photos.
“We have admired him for some time now, not only for his ability, but also his character and personality, which we feel will be an ideal fit in our dressing room,” said Hughes.
“He’s obviously a local boy, who gives us another excellent option up front.”
Southampton supporters love nothing more than a local hero, and once Ings pulls on the red and white stripes he’ll feed off the passion, energy and emotion of the fans, and vice versa.
Increased Game Time
A combination of serious injuries and having to compete with the likes of Mo Salah and co restricted Ings to only 25 appearances spanning three seasons at Liverpool. However, despite making the moving down south, he remains a popular figure at Anfield.
“He is such an outstanding boy. Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide - he is so incredibly positive and full of energy,” gushed Jurgen Klopp.
The 26-year-old was desperately unlucky with regards to injuries, as only a few months after signing for the Reds he ruptured his cruciate ligament, which left him on the sidelines for over 200 days, then a year later he had a knee operation, meaning and was out for nearly 300 days.
The last time Ings had a full season he netted 11 goals in 35 Premier League games, which represents a decent return considering that Burnley were relegated that season, while the campaign prior to that he fired in 26 goals in 45 matches in all competitions.
Providing he stays fit and sharp, Ings is more than likely to surpass those 25 Liverpool appearances in his first season alone for new club Saints as he bids to become a regular feature of their frontline.
Healthy Competition With Austin, Gabbiadini, And Co
It’s not yet known what system Mark Hughes will implement as he prepares for what he hopes will be a first full season in charge of Southampton.
Last term the Welshman played two upfront on a couple of occasions, and he could opt for a brace of out-and-out strikers this season, considering he now has Ings, Charlie Austin - the duo played together at Burnley - and Manolo Gabbiadini in his ranks, and let’s not forget Shane Long and Sam Gallagher.
Saints scored a pitiful 37 league goals last term, but it will be hoped that the increased competition in attack will, in turn, improve the club’s potency in-front of goal.