Ings ready to be team man at Reds
Published 28/07/2015 | 13:18
Liverpool striker Danny Ings believes his all-action style can help make the jobs of the team's talented playmakers easier.
Daniel Sturridge's long injury lay-off last season meant the Reds lacked anyone who was willing to stretch opposition defences, which impacted on the space the more creative players had to work in.
With Mario Balotelli seemingly unwilling and Rickie Lambert not suited to pulling opponents out of position manager Brendan Rodgers regularly opted for the now-departed Raheem Sterling in a central role up front despite him not being a striker.
It remains to be seen how £32.5million signing Christian Benteke, who only begins training with his new team-mates this week after they returned from their pre-season tour, fits in with Rodgers' style but Ings is confident he can offer a useful option.
"After my knee injury (in 2012) I sort of devoted my whole time to working on my speed, my movement, and my creativity," he told LFCTV GO.
"What I've found was really effective, even at Championship level, was making runs constantly in behind.
"As soon as a defender switches off that run in behind is so effective.
"As long as there's someone stretching the pitch and you've got your creative players behind you in that space - and you've got players at this football club to feed those runs - you can be an effective team.
"It's certainly something I'm looking forward to."
Ings is happy to take on the selfless role making runs which may not even see him receive the ball if it means the likes of Philippe Coutinho and new signing Roberto Firmino can benefit from the space which opens up.
"I think with the way the game is going, it's full of creative players now, players who want to be on the ball all the time," he added.
"[But] I really do think, even if I don't touch the ball as much as those guys if I'm still stretching the game it's still as effective.
"It can all get too crunched and if you don't create space for those players in behind you then it's hard to create opportunities.
"I'll always work on my game and stretching in behind."
Meanwhile, Liverpool have allowed defender Andre Wisdom to be loaned out to newly-promoted Norwich for the coming season.
It is understood the Reds will receive a loan fee of £1.25million for the services of the 22-year-old, who has previously spent spells at Derby and, most recently, West Brom.
Wisdom, an England Under-21 international, needs regular first-team football and having signed a new five-year contract in May going out on loan again is the obvious move after new arrival Joe Gomez impressed on the club's recent tour to Asia and Australia to move up the pecking order.
Gomez, a £3.5million signing from Charlton, was deployed at left-back for some of the friendlies and looks like being able to provide cover on both flanks as well as in the centre if necessary.
However, Press Association Sport understands Liverpool have not held talks with Paris St Germain about left-back Lucas Digne and have no interest in the France defender despite reports to the contrary.