Southampton's black box may face toughest test yet amid worrying Hasenhuttl admission – opinion
Danny Ings has been something of a revelation at Southampton since signing for the South Coast club from Liverpool in the summer of 2019 but following some recent quotes from Ralph Hasenhuttl, it is not out of the question that the club may have to look for a replacement for the striker in the near future.
In 75 appearances for the Saints, the former Burnley man has contributed an impressive 38 goals and eight assists (per Transfermarkt), and he also finished as the joint-second top scorer in the Premier League last season after grabbing 22 goals in the top-flight.
The 28-year-old also started this season in fine form for the Saints, contributing five goals and two assists in seven Premier League appearances for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side, which has led to an impressive average rating of 7.46 (per WhoScored).
It was no surprise to see the likes of Tottenham Hotspur linked with a move for the striker during the summer but he opted to stay with the Saints, and he looks on track for another excellent season with the South Coast club.
Hasenhuttl admitted in a recent interview with Kicker that the club is now prioritising a new contract for the forward, with his current deal set to expire in 2022, although from what the Austrian manager suggests, he is slightly concerned that Ings’ representatives could lead the striker astray.
“We have some players who are in demand, for example, Danny Ings, we are currently trying to extend his contract. We know that the player, who has a very high standing in the club and with the fans, is also aware of this responsibility.
The Austrian manager doesn’t seem entirely confident that Ings is going to commit to a new contract with the Saints, and it would certainly be a huge task for the ‘Black Box‘ team at Southampton to try and replace his goals if he were to leave.
The Saints have had great success at bringing in players for cheap in recent years but replacing Ings would not be easy at all for Hasenhuttl’s side.
However, Che Adams’ form this season suggests he could do an adept job at filling in for Ings should he leave, whilst their academy boasts talents such as Dan N’lundulu, so perhaps they would choose to replace him with one of their own, rather than delving into the transfer market.
It will be interesting to see if Ings opts to stay with Southampton by signing a new contract, or whether we see him depart the Saints in the near future.
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Source: Football – Football Fan Cast