Mark Hughes believes Southampton is the “perfect” place for deadline-day signing Danny Ings to resurrect his injury-hit career.
Striker Ings has been restricted to just six Premier League starts in three years following two serious knee injuries.
Manager Hughes feels the boyhood Saints fan has a point to prove on the south coast after completing a season-long loan switch from Liverpool which will be made permanent for £16million next summer.
“We got to the point where it was a win-win situation for both clubs and, more importantly, for Danny as well because he’s come to a club he’s clearly got a lot of affection for and maybe a point to prove,” said Hughes.
“We’re the perfect club for him at this point in his career.
“I think whenever you have a player who has a real feeling for the club that he’s playing for and a special connection and an empathy, I think that makes a difference.
“I think fans respond to that as well. I would imagine the first time Danny walks out in a Southampton kit there’s going to be a huge reception for him.”
Hampshire-born Ings completed his move just before the transfer window closed on Thursday after flying down from Merseyside.
The 26-year-old, rejected by Saints at the age of 10 for being too small, is itching to make his debut against former club Burnley on Sunday.
He was a prolific goal-scorer during his four years at Turf Moor, earning his 2015 switch to Anfield.
“He’s available, we’ll see how he is over the next couple of days,” Hughes added.
“But clearly there’s enthusiasm from him, I’m sure, that he’d want to be part of that.
“He’s fit and well. He’s trained and had game time in pre-season (with Liverpool).
“If I make that decision, he’ll be ready to go. But we’ll see how he goes over the next two days but clearly he becomes an option for me.”