Still, there are legitimate arguments to be made that a reunion between Danny Ings and Liverpool can be mutually beneficial.
News broke earlier this week that the former Reds striker turned down a lucrative new contract with Southampton which allegedly saw him become the highest-paid player in club history.
Yet his own ambitions to compete at the highest level again outweighed the financial incentive offered, and the Saints now face the conundrum of whether to sell their star man this summer, or risk him. lose for nothing in 12 months from the expiration of his contract. .
His planned departure put a number of big Premier League clubs on high alert, and it sparked interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur earlier this year, each of whom apparently did not have not been disheartened by his time at Anfield with injuries.
Ings managed just 14 senior appearances for Liverpool over a four-year span before moving on loan to Southampton ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.
During that first stint on the south coast, he scored eight impressive goals in 25 appearances, which saw the club present a £ 20million offer for the striker the following summer.
While Jurgen Klopp was always a huge fan of the former Burnley man, it turned out to be too good an offer to turn down at the time.
Some of his injury issues have persisted, but Ings has always been able to perform regularly enough to show why Liverpool signed him from Burnley in the first place, scoring 46 times in just 75 appearances for the Saints.
What’s most impressive about this comeback is how he manages to convert at such a high rate from so few chances, certainly compared to other Premier League top scorers.
This point is captured by looking at his impressive numbers in some key finishing departments last season.
Against the 65 other Premier League forwards who played more than 1,000 minutes, he had the fifth highest goal conversion rate (23.53%) and was in the top ten in terms of at least reaching shot attempts. target.
Still, when it comes to shots attempted by 90, he ranked 29th against that same group of players with an average of just 1.98.
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For comparison to Liverpool, Roberto Firmino (2.26), Sadio Mane (2.6), Mohamed Salah (3.26) and Diogo Jota (3.53) each average significantly more effort at the goal.
In terms of traditional center-forward profiles like Ings’s, Liverpool are in short supply. Despite all his good work elsewhere, Firmino’s goal return is regularly reviewed, while Divock Origi has repeatedly proven himself to be far from the reliable alternate goal resource the Reds need.
Almost ironically, on both sides of his time hampered by injury at Anfield, Ings has proven to be the kind of ruthless finisher the Reds could now have in their ranks.
The talent of the forwards already at the club means he might be used more sparingly than in Southampton, potentially minimizing the risk of injury recurrence.
Still, on the pitch he would likely have even more chances than he had with Ralph Hasenhüttl’s men, which would make him an even more lethal resort if he led the Liverpool line.
Any proposed deal should make financial sense, taking into account both his age and his injury record. Still, if the club can get his signing at the right price, then it’s a move that makes a lot of sense.