If you’re Danny Ings, you’re not going to be happy with these quotes from manager Jurgen Klopp.
The boss was speaking ahead of our Premier League opening fixture with Arsenal, and intimated that Ings is in the ‘not needed’ striker category rather than vying for starting spots with Roberto Firmino, Daniel Sturridge and Divock Origi.
“Benteke, Balotelli, Ings, all the other strikers… they are really good strikers,” Klopp began, reported in the Echo.
“But at the end, having six strikers is a little too much, but is still possible.
“If we make presents because we have ‘too many strikers’, that’s the biggest mistake.
“Until August 31, I could change my mind. I’m not that type of guy but I could. We will see what happens.”
The fact Klopp has name-dropped the 24-year-old Englishman along with Benteke and Balotelli – who the whole of Europe knows are up for sale – is damning – in truth.
Ings spent almost the entirety of last season fighting to get fit following his ruptured ACL, but the way Klopp’s used him during pre-season has also been indicative of the fact he won’t be first-choice. When deployed, Ings has been with the second-choice XIs, instead of alongside guaranteed first-teamers like Coutinho, Sadio Mane and the like.
Balotelli and Benteke will almost certainly leave, but it’ll likely be a wait to see if Ings is willing to wait for an opportunity. Without Europe, his chances of minutes rely on the injuries of those ahead of him – but Sturridge and Origi are prone to absences and Firmino can play further back – so we hope he gives it the first half of the season at least.