In what would be a big boost for Liverpool in the second half of the season, Danny Ings inched closer to a return to the pitch as he received medical clearance to train with the team.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was quick to play down some of the optimism about whether Ings would feature for the club again during the 2015-16 campaign.
“I had lunch with Ingsy a few minutes ago,” said Klopp, per James Pearce of the Liverpool Echo. “He’s not in the perfect way, but Tuesday will be his first time outside again. He’s still a long way away from being available but he’s here.”
Ings’ season looked to have ended prematurely after he ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in October.
It not only robbed Ings of the early momentum he built up as a Reds player following his summer switch from Burnley, but it also deprived Liverpool of a versatile attacking option.
Ings can fulfill a variety of different offensive duties, after all. Blessed with tight close control, admirable work rate and an instinctive knack for finding space in dangerous areas, Klopp can utilise the forward in a plethora of different scenarios.
There’s a nasty side to the forward as well, which often goes unnoticed. While that’s not a quality that will enable him to stick more chances away, every team needs a player who gets under the opposition’s skin, and his edgy personality gives Liverpool a completely different dimension.
Even with additional injuries to Divock Origi and Daniel Sturridge, the Reds do have options at the point of the attack with Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino, who has acquitted himself well to a No. 9 role. Plus, after his already lengthy layoff, the squad is well-versed with coping without Ings if he is unable to return.