Danny Ings was a surprise inclusion for Southampton in their game against West Ham on Tuesday night, and while fans will have been delighted to see him back his performance was far from his usual standard.
The former Liverpool man had missed the Saints’ game against Fulham on Boxing Day after picking up a hamstring injury against Manchester City earlier this month but was restored to the starting lineup against the Hammers on Tuesday.
However, he was nowhere near his best against David Moyes’ side, with an early goal ruled out for offside his only real contribution of note.
As per SofaScore, Ings had just 26 touches of the ball during the 90 minutes, as he struggled to stamp his authority on the game.
The striker was able to complete just nine of his 17 attempted passes during the game, resulting in a less than impressive pass accuracy rate of 53%, with it clear that on the rare occasions Ings was able to pick up the ball, he was wasteful in possession, as he also managed to lose the ball 13 times.
The 28-year-old was also unsuccessful in his one cross attempt and his two long ball attempts during the game, which again emphasises just how much the Englishman struggled on his return to the side.
Perhaps most frustratingly for Hasenhuttl, who was watching from home after a positive virus test in his household, was that Ings failed to win any of his seven duels during the game, with the West Ham defenders clearly getting the better of the striker on Tuesday evening.
Hampshire Live rated Ings a 6/10 and agreed that he was nowhere near as sharp as usual, with the England international unfortunately anonymous for a lot of the game.
Earlier this year, Eddie Howe was full of praise for the striker, saying:
“The most impressive thing about Danny is, of course, he’s an outstanding player.
“Technically he’s very good, plays with real intelligence and the way he’s come back from his disappointments, the injury setbacks he’s had, the way he’s fought back and kept his mental strength has been hugely impressive.”
The result now means that Southampton have gone three games without a goal, with Ings’ poor performances of late clearly having an impact on the Saints’ potency in front of goal.
Hopefully, when he is a lot more match fit, he will be back to his dangerous self, otherwise, the South Coast club risk slipping further down the Premier League table.
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