Southampton striker Danny Ings was substituted off in the 40th minute of his side’s 1-1 draw with Watford at St Mary’s on Saturday having picked up an injury in the warm-up, and his potential absence against Fulham next time out could lead to a massive opportunity for one highly-rated Saints youngster.
Well, The Daily Echo report that summer arrival Ings felt his hamstring before the match at the weekend but was still named in the starting XI, with manager Mark Hughes saying that the 26-year-old wanted to see if he could make an impact.
That failed to happen as it was clear that he was unable to get around the pitch at his normal rate, and Hughes spoke about the issue after another disappointing result in which is team surrendered a lead.
The 55-year-old said, via The Daily Echo:
“Danny unfortunately overstretched in the warm up and we weren’t sure whether he was going to start the game and he wanted to see if he could have an impact for us.
“Clearly he was struggling and couldn’t get round the pitch and he needed to come off.
“It might just be an overextension of the knee and a few fibres behind the knee. Let’s hope it just settles down and we keep our fingers crossed it’s not a hamstring.”
If it is confirmed that Ings has suffered a hamstring problem then he most likely won’t be available for the hugely important Premier League clash with fellow strugglers Fulham after the international break, and he could even be struggling should it be another issue given his major injury issues in the past.
Should he miss out – and with Shane Long set to be on the sidelines too as confirmed by Hughes via The Daily Echo – then it could be between Charlie Austin and Michael Obafemi for the striker’s spot with Manolo Gabbiadini impressing out wide against Javi Gracia’s men.
Obafemi has yet to start a top flight fixture for the south coast outfit but he did have an impressive cameo from the substitutes’ bench during the 6-1 defeat to Manchester City earlier this month, while he did come on – but only for a few minutes – against Watford, too.
Southampton haven’t really had a star from their academy make a difference for a long time now, and if the pacy attacker gets in the XI and is the hero in an early-season six-pointer at Craven Cottage next time out, he could easily become the club’s next poster boy.