Profile of Danny Ings

As the fourth and final year of Danny Ings’ Burnley contract progressed speculation about the 22-year-old forward’s future increased and his name was linked with many different clubs. But Liverpool was the club he was linked with most of all so it wasn’t a major surprise that he agreed to join them as soon as his current contract was officially over at the end of June 2015. After three seasons playing in the Championship division and one in the Premier League Daniel William John Ings was ready to take another big step up by joining one of the country’s biggest and most successful clubs.

It was very commendable that Ings seemed determined to see out his Burnley contract because even though he was playing in a struggling team for his final year with the Lancashire club he had been good for them and they had been good for him. Burnley’s stay at the highest level of the English game was as brief as it has been in the 2009/10 season as they again finished second from bottom. The lack of goals scored was a major reason why they went straight back down but nobody could point the finger of blame at Ings who only missed three league matches and scored eleven and made four of Burnley’s paltry total of just 28 goals in 38 games.

Liverpool becomes Danny’s fourth different English club if his brief loan-spell with then Conference South club Dorchester Town is included. He was born in Winchester, the county town of Hampshire, and was briefly on Southampton’s books as a schoolboy before signing an apprenticeship contract with nearby Bournemouth around the time of his 16th birthday. Eddie Howe, whom he would later join up with at Burnley, was the manager who gave Ings his professional debut in a Football League trophy match at Northampton. He was still only a few weeks into his 18th year but an abdominal injury brought a temporary end to his progress and led to him agreeing to join Dorchester for two months, where he scored seven times in thirteen matches. He was, however, recalled early by his parent club because they were in the middle of an injury crisis and he started a senior Bournemouth match for the first time at Milton Keynes between Christmas and New Year 2010. Seven goals from twenty-six league matches were very respectable figures for someone so young. Bournemouth finished 6th in League One but were defeated in the Play Offs by Huddersfield Town. Ings was linked with a number of clubs that summer and played in Bournemouth’s opening match of the new season at Charlton Athletic on the 6th of August but that was his last appearance for the south coast club because he moved to Burnley only nine days later to be reunited with his old manager who had made the same move eight months earlier. Howe used Ings only in the second half of the season in 2011/12 as Burnley ended the season in 13th place. Howe returned to Bournemouth in October 2012; Ings remained in Lancashire but Burnley only improved their finishing position by two places under Sean Dyche. In 2013/14 Burnley returned to the Premier League after an absence of five years by finishing as runners-up to champions Leicester City. Ings only missed six of the forty-six league matches and his twenty-one goals plus seven assists was a massive contribution to Burnley’s promotion. Unsurprisingly, both club and player found life tough in the top division but Ings’ rising star was diminished very little if at all and even though Burnley only won seven matches all season he stayed to see a difficult campaign through to its end and in fact made it clear that he had no intention of breaking the contract he had signed in 2011.

Gareth Southgate called Ings into his Under-21 squad for the first time in October 2013 and his first appearance for his country soon followed. He was a member of the England squad taken by Southgate to the European Under-21 Championship finals in the Czech Republic in June 2015. It would seem to be only a matter of time before he gets a call from Roy Hodgson as well to join up with his country’s senior international squad.

It is hard to say exactly what role Brendan Rodgers sees for Danny Ings in the Liverpool team. But it is important that he already knows that he has signed a player who will always give maximum effort for his team even if the going gets tough. Ings has averaged a goal every three matches in his career so far and that is a strike-rate that Liverpool supporters would be delighted to see continue considering that the 2014/15 season gave this young man enormously valuable Premier League experience to take into a new campaign at the same level.

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