Gareth Southgate believes that a switch to Liverpool will help Danny Ings move up to the next level. The striker has been an integral part of Southgate’s England Under-21 set-up for the last two years, but at 22, this summer’s European Championships will be Ings’ last as a youth team player.
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Ings, who will complete his move from Burnley to Liverpool at the start of next month, will be looking to use his new platform at Anfield to boost his chance of a place in Roy Hodgson’s England first-team, and Southgate believes that he can do exactly that.
“He is excited. He is a player we like a lot. He has grown with us,” he told the Daily Mirror.
“He is a player who wants to learn, improve and has a great mindset. The challenge of Liverpool will be helped by us. It is a great opportunity. He moves up to be eligible for the seniors after this summer.
“At Liverpool he will face different styles of play and European football. They will develop his game. Burnley has been great learning ground for him. They have given him a great opportunity. It is a shame when the parting comes but he is probably ready for another challenge.”
Ings scored 11 goals for the Clarets last season – a more than respectable return for a team that were relegated – taking his final tally for Sean Dyche’s side to 43 in 130 games. His most profitable season came during the 2013-14 campaign when his 26 goals inspired his side to promotion.
He’ll likely be joining a new-look Liverpool strikeforce next season, alongside Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi. The next name to be added to that list will unfortunately depend on which players Brendan Rodgers is able to sell.
Mario Balotelli, Rickie Lambert and Fabio Borini have all been linked with moves away (via the Mirror) and we’re unlikely to make further additions until we can clear out some of the deadwood.