Disaster for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp as Danny Ings ruled out for the season
Liverpool striker Danny Ings’ season is effectively over after he became the second Anfield player within 24 hours to suffer a cruciate knee injury.
The striker was injured in training at Melwood on Wednesday, his first session working with new manager Jurgen Klopp.
It comes just a day after team mate Joe Gomez was afflicted with the same injury which rules him out for the up to nine months. The best Liverpool can hope for is that Ings returns in six months.
Klopp described himself as ‘lucky man’ when he was unveiled a week ago, but the injury jinx might make him revise that opinion.
Ings had made an exceptional start to the season, scoring three goals and earning a call-up to the England squad. He made his England debut against Lithuania on Monday and was in contention to make the Euro 2016 squad. Those dreams now lie in tatters.
From Klopp’s point of view, his striking options are now severely limited. Christian Benteke is still recovering from a hamstring problem, while Daniel Sturridge is still working his way back to full fitness. Only Divock Origi offers an another option in the first team squad.
Ings underwent an assessment in a Merseyside hospital on Thursday morning when the bad news was confirmed.
The news came as Klopp held his pre-match press conference prior to his first game against Tottenham Hotspur this weekend.
The German coach is demanding a ‘braver’ approach from his side as he seeks to kick off his reign with a victory.
“I want to see more braveness and fun in their eyes and that they like what they do,” said Klopp.
“I saw it in the week. We can be organised in a short time. Until now we have not enough goals. But we need to feel stability. That is what we will try to do.
“Some things you can change like this – mentality – radiance – that’s all, but to get really tuned as a team takes time, of course. I’m here because Liverpool is a great club but also because I feel I can help these guys.”
Since Klopp moved to Anfield there has been a response bordering on hysteria from supporters and English media.
It is something the coach hopes will eventually subside as he is judged on performance rather than reputation.
“I met two kinds of people. Most of them are ‘we will win the league’ and the others ‘why are we here?’ – neither is right. We want to get back trust and confidence in our own quality,” he said.
“We had a dinner with the staff last night. Two people asked for a photo and I had to say no because each photograph is on twitter. I met a guy with his dog and the next day it was in paper. It looks like I am always in restaurants and bars! It’s not too bad but at this moment it is strange because we did not play. Let’s start playing football. We shall see how our relationship develops.
“I don’t like being photographed all the time. Who does? It is not a real problem.
“But I am interested in the work behind the door. The most important thing now is we train as much as possible.
“It is not the time to change many things but turn the screws a little bit the right way.”