Southampton manager Mark Hughes has described the club’s transfer deal for striker Danny Ings as a “win win” for both parties. Ings joined the Saints on deadline day on a season-long loan deal, which will eventually lead to a permanent move worth around £20 million.
Southampton narrowly avoided relegation last season by finishing 17th in the Premier League table, just three points above the drop zone. Veteran manager Mark Hughes took control of the club with just eight games remaining, and helped to steer them to safety despite their ongoing struggles in front of goal. Indeed, 2017/18 was a difficult season to be a Southampton striker. Their top scorer Charlie Austin netted seven times in 1030 minutes; however, Manolo Gabbiadini, Shane Long, and Nathan Redmond could only manage eight league goals between them.
Another key contributor was Serbian midfielder Dusan Tadic, who scored seven goals and provided four assists. When Tadic left the club to join Ajax however, Saints fans were left scratching their heads, wondering where the goals would come from this season. Needless to say, signing a new forward was at the top of Mark Hughes’ list of priorities, and Liverpool’s Danny Ings could be just the man for the job.
“It took everybody by surprise. It was a typical last day of the window, if we’re honest.” said Hughes “On occasions, you think you’re getting very close, then they drift away. Then they come back onto the radar, and Danny’s situation was a little bit like that.
“At one point, we didn’t think we’d get it done. Thankfully, everything fell into the correct sequence and we were able to get it over the line.
“We’re absolutely delighted, and really pleased with the window we’ve had.”
Southampton kick off their Premier League campaign later today when they host Burnley at St Mary’s. The Saints failed to beat Burnley in the league last season, losing 1-0 at home, and drawing 1-1 at Turf Moor. Ings is expected to make his debut today, and could prove to be a decisive figure for the home side.
“He is available, we will see how he is over the next couple of days.” Hughes added. “He is fit and well, he has had game time in pre-season. We will see how he goes but he becomes an option.”