Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson has revealed his 'delight' at knowing Danny Ings will be unable to feature for Southampton against his team on Saturday afternoon.
The Saints will make the trip to Anfield in a bid to end the Reds' five game unbeaten start to the campaign, but Henderson was boosted by the knowledge that they will be without their top scorer and his former teammate.
Ings, 26, joined Southampton over the summer on an initial season-long loan deal before the move becomes permanent next year, meaning he will be forced to watch from the sidelines as loan rules in the Premier League stipulate a player cannot feature against his parent club.
“There’s no hiding the fact that we’re delighted Danny can’t play against us today at Anfield because for the first season of his move he’s on loan. I don’t mean that with any negativity – we’re delighted because we know his class better than most," Henderson told the club's website.
Danny Ings has 3 goals in his first 5 PL games for Southampton, I’m glad he’s doing very well since asking for regular first team football we couldn’t give. Relieved that he can’t play against us, hope he stays fit and continues scoring.— . (@VintageSalah) September 17, 2018
“When people in the game talk about Danny it’s always with positivity, but it’s quite often focused on what a great person he is and how fantastic his attitude is.
"Both of those things are correct – he is someone you fall in love with when you spend time with him and his courage and spirit is contagious. But people should not ignore his ability and talent. He is technically superb and extremely clever."
Ings made just 25 appearances - with a return of four goals - for the Reds following his move from Burnley in 2015 having seen his time at Anfield hampered by injuries. And now Henderson has revealed he and a host of his former teammates are his biggest cheerleaders - albeit when they come head to head.
“Danny’s Liverpool story didn’t materialise as he ultimately would have hoped, but when he told us he was going to leave during the summer window and join Southampton it was always going to be a case of starting a new story and kicking on.
“Like everyone in our dressing room I was chuffed Danny got the move he wanted. I’ve been lucky enough to represent my home town team previously so I know what it means.
"Southampton is Danny’s home – it is his club and it means every goal he scores and every point he helps to win will mean even more.
"It’s been brilliant seeing him hit the ground running and making an immediate impact. There’s no doubt that he’s going to score goals and become a big hero and there will be no bigger cheers for every goal he bags than in our dressing room,” he added.