Reaping the rewards: Southampton's 2018 transfer gamble is now paying dividends - opinion | FootballFanCast.com
2 minute read 2/12/2019 | 12:00pm
This article is part of Football FanCast’s In Numbers series, which takes a statistical look at performances, season-long form and reported transfer targets…
Availability is such an important trait in football, and when a player is susceptible to serious injury problems, it can make any amount of money spent on them a risk.
This statement is especially applicable to Southampton and Danny Ings.
Following a troublesome stint with Liverpool, in which he made just 25 appearances across a four-year stint at Anfield, eyebrows may have been raised when the Saints parted with £20m to sign the England international following an agreement to sign him following a loan deal in 2018.
Ings injured his anterior cruciate ligament back in 2015 while playing for the Merseysiders that sidelined him for seven months, and upon his return to full fitness, suffered an issue in the very same knee which ruled him out for a further nine months.
Now, that would surely leave huge concerns over Ings’ ability to remain fit, but nevertheless, Southampton took an expensive gamble on the boyhood Saints supporters and they are now being rewarded for such a show of faith.
So far this season, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals in all competitions, with seven of them coming in the Premier League, placing him seventh in the scoring ranks behind world-class names such as Raheem Sterling and Sadio Mane – he has outscored Mohamed Salah and is level with Harry Kane.
Most recently, it was Ings’ goal that kick-started a five-minute turnaround against relegation rivals Watford, a game that Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side could ill afford to lose.
In addition to his crucial 78th-minute equaliser, the former Burnley hitman recorded two key passes and also completed two dribbles, while getting involved defensively with two clearances to his name.
Having someone who can put the ball in the net during a relegation battle is like gold dust, and if Ings can keep Southampton in England’s top-flight with his goals, then he will have been worth every penny – even now, the Saints are truly being rewarded for their massive gamble.
Would Southampton get relegated if Danny Ings suffered another serious injury?
The south coast side earned over £104m for staying in the Premier League last term, so if Ings’ goals fire them to safety, he will have paid off his own fee and more.
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