Southampton signed Liverpool forward Danny Ings on a season-long loan deal back in the summer, with an obligation to buy the forward for a fee of around £20m this summer (per the Guardian) as they look to move away from battling relegation year after year, but how has he done?
The 26-year-old arrived at St Mary’s Stadium with a lot to prove after an injury-hit stint with Liverpool, in which he managed to make just six starts for the club after suffering a succession of serious knee injuries.
In that respect, it was quite a big risk for the Saints to take the England international from the Reds, and an even bigger risk to commit to a permanent deal after the loan spell ended. However, Ings has repaid the faith shown in him by the side from the South Coast side.
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The former Burnley man has hit seven goals in 15 Premier League starts under both Mark Hughes and Ralph Hasenhuttl this season (per Whoscored), which averages almost a goal every two games. He has also hit one goal in the Carabao Cup, to round off which has been a successful six months at the club so far.
The eventual £20m fee is a fair chunk for Southampton to splash out on one player, but Ings’ form so far looks to have justified the gamble. Additionally, he is at a good age at 26, which suggests that his prime years are set to come in the next season or two provided he stays injury free, so it can be considered a good long-term investment by the Saints as well.
It was fairly imperative for the club to sign a prolific striker to lift them away from the depths of the Premier League, where they have languished in recent seasons after punching much higher for the European places in campaigns gone by.
The goals have dried up for Shane Long, and Manolo Gabbiadini has been sold to Serie A side Sampdoria (per the BBC), so a new striker was an absolute necessity.