Football

Danny Ings: I stayed away from the low numbers at Liverpool

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Liverpool striker Danny Ings made a conscious decision to avoid taking Steven Gerrard or Luis Suarez's vacant shirt numbers at Anfield after acknowledging there will be enough pressure on him to hit the ground running on Merseyside next season without the additional expectations that come with wearing such historically significant Reds jerseys.

The England U21 international opted for the No.28 after agreeing to link up with Brendan Rodgers' squad on a Bosman free transfer from relegated Burnley at the end of the 2014/15 campaign, and he's already planning on climbing the ladder with his new employers.

Ings appears a refreshingly modest Premier League footballer whose humble beginnings in the professional game have provided a solid sense of perspective ahead of his big-money move to one of England's elite.

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Whilst he accepts that Liverpool have presented him with a great opportunity to forge a successful career, he's well aware that the hard work has only just begun, and there's no time for the 22-year-old to rest on his laurels after joining such an illustrious club.

The former Clarets marksman is currently away in the Czech Republic with Gareth Southgate's Young Lions squad taking part in the European U21 Championships, but will formally complete his transfer when the window reopens on July 1.

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When asked about the prospect of linking up with the Reds for pre-season, Ings admitted he was feeling a little nervous about the prospect of his first day at Melwood and that's why he opted to delay stepping into the shoes of the recently departed Reds skipper or the prolific Barcelona talisman from the offset.

"I stayed away from the low numbers," he was quoted saying by The Guardian. "You have got to take that pressure off yourself as a young lad coming through. That is what I personally think.

"I would make sure I am established before taking any of those numbers. It is such a huge club. That was the thinking behind it. I wouldn't want to go to Liverpool and chuck a shirt on my back like that - it is pressure you don't need.

"The expectation at clubs like that is huge. Obviously I am going to work my socks off to earn that number one day. For now I will take a high number and work hard."

Prior to Suarez, the No.7 shirt was worn by other Kop idols like Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish and Peter Beardsley, whilst the No.8 was worn by Gerrard for the majority of his Anfield career, which sadly came to an end following his defection to Major League Soccer franchise Los Angeles Galaxy.

Regarding the long-drawn-out saga that resulted in Ings' inevitable departure from Turf Moor following the Lancashire club's relegation back to the Championship, the talented forward hinted it wasn't a difficult decision to make once he learned about Liverpool's interest in acquiring his services.

"I knew about my contract situation at the start of the season," he explained. "I had a big decision to make whether to sign a new contract or not. I sat down with my family and agent and we came up with I was going to hold out.

"I had quite a strong season, but obviously we went down and I was gutted. But I thought I did enough to get myself a good move and the next step, and another challenge. It is a challenge I am really looking forward to and I can't wait to get going."

Liverpool fans: Do you think Danny Ings has made a smart selection of shirt number? Or is the added pressure that comes with wearing such historical jerseys a myth? Have your say below...

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Danny Ings
Liverpool

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