Why Danny Ings can make Southampton a much-improved team in attack this season
Southampton made a clever signing right at the last minute on the deadline day by getting striker Danny Ings from Liverpool. The deal is an initial season-long loan which would become a permanent transfer next summer for a fee of around £18m plus £2m add-ons. (Guardian)
Manager Mark Hughes would be a delighted man to get a striker who can actually be lethal in front of the goal. Saints have struggled with that for a while now, and if any evidence is needed, we can turn towards last season and look at the stats – only 37 goals scored in 38 games.
Ings was a subject of frustration at Anfield as he got long-term injuries which forced him out of the reckoning. He was probably the third-choice striker at Liverpool, which is not indicative of the talent that he possesses. So the 26-year-old’s move to the St. Mary’s is a justified one by all measures.
The former Burnley striker has made a good start to his career at Southampton, scoring two goals in four appearances and being a nuisance for the defenders.
His performance against Crystal Palace was an example as to what he can do if given regular playing time. Ings was a constant threat to the Eagles and scored a proper poacher’s goal to put Southampton ahead at Selhurst Park.
On the same day, his strike partner Charlie Austin stroked a lazy penalty which was saved. It showed why Southampton have been struggling to score goals on a regular spree. Now with Ings in the line-up, the fans can expect more ruthlessness.
The club really laboured last season when they flirted with relegation and just about remained in the top-flight. However, given the quality they possess all over the field, a top-half finish shouldn’t be really away from their grasp.
The addition of Ings has certainly boosted the hopes of Hughes and his men aiming for a higher finish this year. Provided the 26-year-old remains fit for most of the games, we can expect the Saints to be there in the fight for a finish in the top half.
The former Liverpool man will also help the likes of Austin and Manolo Gabbiadini raise their game and contribute more to the team in terms of goals.