Eddie Howe admits he would love to see Danny Ings rediscover his scoring form following his torrid time with injuries at Liverpool.
The Bournemouth boss knows the Englishman well from his rise through the club’s youth system and is now keen to see the striker put his career back on track.
Last weekend’s Merseyside derby saw Ings make his first senior start for Liverpool since October 2016, when he coincidentally scored in the corresponding fixture at Goodison Park.
Having endured successive season-ending knee injuries in his first two years at Anfield, Ings returned to fitness last summer before plying his trade with the U23s during the first half of the season.
He has since emerged as a first-team option for Jurgen Klopp after the German blocked any potential January loan move.
Though Howe is keen to see Ings back amongst the goals, the Cherries boss will be hoping he waits until after Saturday’s clash at Anfield.
“Of course, after this game I hope Danny does really well and no one would be happier than us,” Howe told the Bournemouth Echo.
“He was a great lad. Someone who I instantly liked and came from humble beginnings with a tough journey through the youth team.”
“We are very proud of him to go through the youth set-up here and go on to play for Liverpool, I think that is a great journey for our young players.”
“He has not had it easy, he has had to do it the hard way and I have a lot of respect for him.”
Ings is unlikely to start at Anfield on Saturday, although remains in strong contention to be utilised in the second half as Jurgen Klopp strives to preserve his regular starters for Champions League purposes.
The striker has taken meaningful strides towards reigniting his career without having found the net in recent months.
Having made his Champions League debut in the last 16 first-leg clash with Porto, Ings produced a bright cameo and was unlucky not to score in Liverpool’s 5-0 win against Watford three weeks later.
In a conclusion to the season where rotation will be key, Ings’ energy could prove useful in reserve.