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Should Liverpool Pursue a Return for Danny Ings?

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Amid the concerning recent form of Liverpool’s ever-reliable front three, question marks have been raised as to whether a fresh face may be necessary. Although these are perhaps premature, both output and overall performances from the trio have been well below-par. After just one goal in the last four league outings, Jurgen Klopp’s side have looked abject and devoid of ideas with similar patterns emerging- low-blocks seemingly limiting the champions to few goal scoring opportunities. This is unheard of in a Klopp side, the German last seeing his team fail to net in 3 successive league outings in 2005, with German side Mainz. It begs the question, should the priority be a more clinical number 9? If this is an area the Reds do want to target, a viable option could be former Anfield man Danny Ings.

??Danny Ings is convinced he could return to a CL club. The transfer market is in flux with the effects of COVID although it is possible that the likes of Man United, Man City and even his former club Liverpool, might be in the market for a striker this summer. [@TeleFootball]

— LFC Transfer Room (@LFCTransferRoom) January 20, 2021

Widespread reports from The Telegraph are suggesting the England forward would relish to a move to a top 4 outfit, with a desire to play Champions League football. The 28-year-old has just 18 months left on his current Southampton deal, with Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl seemingly accepting the possibility they could lose their talisman. “We are in a situation where every club is struggling with finances. If they want to make the next step in the summer to a bigger club and there is an offer fitting to the player, then we can always negotiate.”

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While the Austrian may be ruling out a January move, in the summer where Ings will reach 29 years of age and have just a year remaining, the poacher would be available at a cut price. While it looks evident that at a suitable fee Southampton would be willing to do a deal, it would undoubtedly be shrewd business to bring Ings back to Anfield.

The Englishman netted on an exceptional 22 occasions for the bottom-half Saints last term, while finding the net 7 times in just 13 appearances in the current campaign. He is registering goals at a rate of around 57% of matches over the last 18 months scoring 29 league goals- a hugely impressive output for a notoriously mid-table Saints outfit. Compare that to current Liverpool centre forward Roberto Firmino, with 14 over the same period, the Englishman has more than doubled that total in 5 fewer outings.

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While the Brazilian offers so much off the ball, this is an aspect in which Ings is also profound in. He is an all-action, complete centre-forward, with his pressing and high-energy a fundamental part of not only his game, but Southampton’s too. The energy at which they play, in pressing from the front, is a key factor as to why it is rarely a comfortable afternoon for anyone at St Mary’s.

While fans may understandably may want to remain loyal to our current number 9, chances for some time now are going begging when falling at the Brazilian’s feet. This will always raise the question as to the points Liverpool could gain, with a potent number 9 in front of goal.

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While not the glamour signing of an Erling Haaland, Kylian Mbappe or the long-term solution, it is certainly one which makes a lot of footballing and financial sense. He fits the bill in almost all regards, and would presumably relish proving his worth at Anfield, which unfortunately did not transpire in his first stint on Merseyside. Certainly if available at a reduced price, it is one to keep an eye on, and one the Premier League champions should take full advantage of.

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