The 26-year-old striker ends an injury-plagued three-year stay at Anfield by initially joining the Saints on a season-long loan which becomes a permanent transfer ahead of the 2019/20 season.
Ings infamously suffered a serious knee injury in Klopp’s first training session, but his attitude was nevertheless unwavering which has led to a heartfelt tribute from his former boss.
“It is a very strange feeling saying goodbye to Danny. The biggest emotion is how much we will miss him,” he told the club website.
“He is such an outstanding boy. Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide – he is so incredibly positive and full of energy. But we won’t just miss his character because he is a footballer who has all the tools.
“What is clear is that in his time here he had zero luck really, certainly in my time. Before joining I tried to watch as many games on tape as I could from the season so far and Danny Ings stood out as someone I was really looking forward to coaching.”
Everybody wishes Danny all the best for his future career. 🙌https://t.co/43QvTIhgEQ
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) August 9, 2018
Klopp added: “We all know his story and the bad luck he has had since then. It’s why the other emotion is that of being pleased for Danny that he has such a good move and his future is now very bright,” he added.
“When he said to us he thinks this is the window it might be best to look elsewhere, for the sake of his career and playing more regular football, it was clear early on that Southampton has great appeal to him personally. It’s his home, his family is there, it’s his boyhood club. They have a great manager and I think the supporters and him will feed off each other’s passion and energy.
“So we say farewell to a friend, but for Danny I know the best chapters in his personal story are still to be written. He is as fit now as at any point of his career I would bet and he just requires the opportunity. He has that opportunity and on behalf of his Liverpool family we say good luck Danny and we will miss you.”
Ings at Anfield
Ings started his youth playing career at Southampton but was released. He’d join rivals Bournemouth before making 30 senior appearances (registering eight goals in the process) for the south-coast club.
After impressing scouts, Ings would move to Burnley where he really started to make his name. Across 130 matches in all competitions, the Winchester-born marksman would bag 43 goals.
It was enough to convince Liverpool who signed him in Brendan Rodger’s final summer at the club. However, subsequent injuries would force him to make only 25 appearances for the Reds in which he scored four times.
Southampton, by a quirk of fate, welcome Burnley to St Mary’s for their 2018/19 Premier League opener on August 12.