Danny Ings was, in his own words, ‘devastated’ when Southampton released him as a school boy. The Winchester-born youngster had, after all, grown up desperate to pull on the famous red and white stripes of The Saints – his boyhood club.
“I was devastated when they let me go,” Ings, who eventually got his break at Southampton’s South Coast rivals Bournemouth, told the Daily Echo in 2014.
“I always dreamed of playing for my hometown team so it wasn’t nice. I was ten and was hoping to get into the academy but one of the coaches said I was too small.”
That dream, however, could become reality at long last in the January transfer window. The Sun reported on Sunday that Southampton are one of three clubs hoping to sign the 25-year-old on loan from Liverpool in January.
Newcastle United, Watford and Crystal Palace are also understood to be interested in Ings, with Magpies boss Rafael Benitez having tracked the striker for some time.
The Magpies wanted to sign the one-time England international in the summer (The Telegraph) and, with Liverpool willing to let Ings leave in order to build up match fitness and make a late surge for Gareth Southgate’s World Cup squad, Benitez was hoping that Ings will finally move to Tyneside in the New Year.
The temptation of finally walking out at St Mary’s could be impossible to turn down for Ings, however. Southampton are in need of attacking reinforcements after struggling to score at the start of this season and Ings would add some much needed pace and penalty-box poaching to Mauricio Pellegrino’s shot-shy side.
Years after Southampton let Ings go, they would welcome him back with open arms.
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