Roy Hodgson Cools Danny Ings Talk Amid Crystal Palace, West Ham Rumours

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2017

LEIGH, GREATER MANCHESTER - OCTOBER 23: Danny Ings of Liverpool during the Premier League 2 fixture between Manchester United and Liverpool at Leigh Sports Village on October 23, 2017 in Leigh, Greater Manchester. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Roy Hodgson has played down rumours linking Crystal Palace with Liverpool striker Danny Ings amid reports he is wanted in January by the Eagles and West Ham United

According to the Press Association (h/t the Daily Mail), Palace manager Hodgson said:

"We haven't talked about Danny Ings coming here on loan with anybody. I like Danny Ings, of course, but I like lots of players.

"We have absolutely no idea about his situation, I don't know how well he has recovered from his injury, I don't know what Liverpool's situation regarding him is.

"There would be an awful lot of questions to answer before that happens and at the moment we are nowhere near that level of discussion with Danny Ings or anybody else."

The Mirror's Darren Lewis reported Palace and West Ham were eyeing a loan deal for the striker ahead of the January transfer window, with Brighton & Hove Albion and Stoke City also keeping abreast of his situation.

A loan move could be beneficial to all parties, as Ings has little chance of breaking into Liverpool's attack.

Mohamed Salah, Philippe Coutinho, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino have sewn up the places in the final third, and that quartet has scored 46 of the Reds' 56 goals this term in the Premier League and UEFA Champions League combined.

They players are especially effective when they are all on the pitch, per The Times' Paul Joyce:

Firmino, who occupies the central slot Ings might also fit in, is perhaps the least lauded of the four players.

But the Brazilian's work ethic and selfless play make him a vital component of the forward line, and he has also improved his goalscoring too. He has already matched last season's tally of 12, so he's not going to be unseated.

Ings was just 22 when he signed for Liverpool in 2015, but after a promising start that saw him strike three times in his first eight games for the Reds, a cruciate-ligament injury kept him out of action until the final day of the season.

He made just two appearances the following year after further knee surgery, and this seasonaside from a 17-minute cameo in the Carabao Cup—he has been restricted to playing with the under-23s, for whom he has scored once in eight starts.

Now 25, Ings needs game time to help him regain his form and fitness to kickstart his career, and he won't get that at Liverpool.

His signing would be a gamble for any side given he has made just 12 first-team appearances since the start of the 2015-16 season, but a loan move would provide him the chance to prove himself while mitigating the risk to his suitors.