How Liverpool may have missed Danny Ings more than Daniel Sturridge this season


Sturridge is the top class striker, but Ings as the grafter could've got more out of everybody else.

For much of this season, Liverpool have bemoaned the lack of options up front. The recurring injuries to Daniel Sturridge can't be surprising but when you have a promising summer signing in Danny Ings ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, Divock Origi suffering hamstring and knee injuries and Christian Benteke struggling to fit into the side, Jurgen Klopp has had a bit of bad luck on his hands as well as huge job at Anfield. 

It's a huge conundrum for the German to fix as his side has not exactly been proficient when it comes to finding the back of the net this season. 25 goals from 22 league games says it all. 

Christian Benteke has received much criticism this season despite being the club's top scorer, but he has seemingly struggled to adapt to Liverpool's way of playing, and Liverpool to his way of playing. Part of the reason could have been the limited amount of time he's had with a striker partner. 

Earlier on in the season Danny Ings showed signs of brightness. He showed he was willing to hassle opponents and scored three goals in a good, but brief spell in the side prior to Brendan Rodgers' dismissal as manager.

It's hard not to think that the summer signing from Burnley will have relished working under Klopp so far, and been pretty prominent in the side where it not for his injury misfortune in October. Though Liverpool have not scored many goals throughout the season, it's worth pointing out that he was leading the club's scoring charts in all competitions at the time of his injury.

The injuries to Daniel Sturridge could have been predicted after last season's bout of successive muscular problems, with hip surgery forcing him to miss the entirety of pre-season and the start of the campaign this term. Divock Origi will not have been expected to play such a big role in the side even if he had impressed prior to his latest injury. So the onus on Liverpool getting goals fell squarely on Benteke, but it seems he needs a partner.

One only needs to look at the kind of goals he has scored so far. Only one of them has been a case of him attacking the ball from close range - and that was at the far post. It has tended to be his game to hang back and fire in from beyond 12 yards. No-one currently seems to be attacking that near post from close range regularly in order to stretch any back line for Liverpool. While some should say Benteke should learn the role, it seems out of his comfort zone and hard for him to adapt, and being unwilling to accommodate that aspect to his game is not going to help the club or the player. 

Two of Danny Ings's efforts, however, have been close range efforts, with the other seeing him capitalise on the shoulder of the last defender. He seemed willing to attack the near post earlier on in the season and create space for a potential strike partner. It could also have allowed the Reds' goal-shy midfielders to get in on the act on more occasions.

Logically, one feels these two can work in tandem. Benteke would enjoy the space that Ings can provide while Ings would probably relish the work, leading to two forwards carrying a goal threat. 

More injuries to Sturridge were expected in all honesty as the confidence on him being a reliable striker is at rock bottom, regardless of how talented he is. Ings's injury blow was a cruel one when it comes to luck. 

The focal point will have been on Sturridge and the qualities he possesses when he is fit, but Ings has been overlooked because his Liverpool career is still in its infancy, while Sturridge has enjoyed one season where he has scored in excess of 20 goals. 

One can't help but feel that if Ings were fit, Sturridge's absence would've been felt a little less.

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