Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has spoken of his delight at the return to fitness of Danny Ings.
The former Burnley man has endured a frustrating time since joining the Reds from Burnley in the summer of 2015, suffering two serious knee injuries that have curtailed his involvement under Klopp.
But after returning to Klopp’s matchday squads in recent weeks, the German believes Ings is close to earning a start for the Reds.
“Yes, absolutely [Danny is knocking on the door],” Klopp told LiverpoolFC.com.
“It’s good. He needed time. A few months ago it was different, but a player like him when they come back they think, ‘I am under pressure’ and they want to come in immediately and get game time.
“Danny went the hard way. He played a lot of games for the U23s—a lot of good games. Not all of them were good, but that’s normal.
“If you feel like a settled player, like he usually is, and then you play U23 and are not the best player on the pitch, then it’s not nice but it’s an important experience again.
“It’s all about getting match time and getting minutes. Then at one point, if the quality is there, he will be back – and that he is back now is very important for us and fantastic for him.”
Ings enjoyed a special moment in his career against Porto last Wednesday, coming on as a second-half substitute to make his Champions League debut.
And Klopp is delighted to see him finally play at that level, given his long battle with injury.
“It was fantastic but he deserves it,” he added.
“Danny is in a fantastic shape. It always takes time. When I came in, it was such a long time [before I could work with him] because in the first session he got injured. Unbelievable.
“Now, after two-and-a-half years, he can play in the Champions League. It’s a wonderful story, it’s really deserved.”