Southampton have been dealt a huge blow ahead of their game against Leicester City on Saturday, as Danny Ings has been ruled out after testing positive for the current viral outbreak.
Ralph Hasenhuttl confirmed in his pre-match conference on Thursday that the England international would be forced to sit out the game against the Foxes after a positive test, as he will now have to self-isolate due to the government’s guidelines.
This comes as a big blow for the Austrian as he saw his side fail to score in three games over the Christmas period that Ings missed through injury before the former Liverpool man returned to score the winner against his old side in the Saints’ last Premier League fixture.
It is an important game against Brendan Rodgers’ side on Saturday evening, with both sides having enjoyed an impressive start to the season which sees them challenging for a top-four spot, so to have your top scorer missing is obviously a huge blow for the South Coast club.
So far this season, the 28-year-old has managed seven goals and three assists in just 13 top-flight appearances for Southampton, averaging a superb 7.17 rating.
The Englishman is picking up where he left off last season, where he finished as the second joint-top scorer in the Premier League, despite a disjointed season so far where injuries, and now the current viral outbreak, have ruled him out of matches.
Last season, Eddie Howe was full of praise for the striker, saying:
“The most impressive thing about Danny is, of course, he’s an outstanding player.”
“Technically he’s very good, plays with real intelligence and the way he’s come back from his disappointments, the injury setbacks he’s had, the way he’s fought back and kept his mental strength has been hugely impressive.”
Hasenhuttl will surely be frustrated to have his top goalscorer missing for the game against Leicester and he now faces a dilemma on who to select up front alongside Che Adams, who should return after missing the game against Liverpool with a concussion.