Speaking to the press ahead of Liverpool’s meeting with Watford on Sunday, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp sounded rather optimistic about the chances of club captain Jordan Henderson and up and coming attacker Divock Origi playing again this season as the pair inch towards fitness, but the German cut a far more cautious line when asked whether striker Danny Ings would hit the pitch before the close of the campaign.
“I don’t know, but I am pretty sure Danny wants it!” said the Liverpool manager will his characteristic laugh booming around Melwood. “He was in training and in Germany we have a word that means ‘early shape’ – he came back into training after a long, long break at the highest level,” explained Klopp before putting a damper on expectations. “He is a good striker; I knew this before but now I have seen it. In this moment, it makes no sense [to risk] – we have all these fit players.”
Finally looking like he’d found his groove after moving from Burnley FC over the summer, Ings picked up a serious knee injury only days after the former Borussia Dortmund boss took charge and has been sidelined ever since. Surgery to repair the damage to his anterior cruciate ligament and six long, hard months of recovery later, the 23-year is back in first team training. While he might be itching for a recall, it could be awhile before he gets a satisfying scratch.
“If we have the opportunity, if there is a chance, we will do it, but we will not force it, we will not push it, we will not press it,” said Klopp, seemingly keen to drive his point home. “If there is an opportunity, we will do it, but Danny’s time will come – 100 per cent,” he continued, assuring the striker that he remains very much part of his plans for the future. “If there is an opportunity this season we will do it, but if not then he has a long pre-season, which is brilliant for him and for us. Then he will be available next season.”