Andrew Sparkes thinks that Danny Ings' rich vein of form deserves an international call up
Danny Ings is in prolific form. The Southampton striker currently sits joint second in the race for the Premier League Golden Boot, with 14 goals so far this campaign. The Saints striker only has one England cap to his name, handed to him by Roy Hodgson dating back to a 2015: a thirty minute cameo appearance in a 3-0 win over Lithuania.
With Harry Kane ruled out until April with a hamstring injury, he will have had limited minutes before England begin their Euro 2020 campaign. England fans are already speculating as to who could replace their talisman should he not return to fitness in time for the tournament.
Jamie Vardy is the Premier League’s leading marksman with 17 goals so far, with his pace and clinical finishing not showing any signs of fading. But with the Leicester forward retired from international duties, all attention has turned to Ings, who bagged yet another goal against Vardy's side last weekend.
Speaking to Love Sport Radio, Southampton goalkeeper coach Andrew Sparkes has claimed that Ings is ready to fill in as England’s leading striker.
“If Danny keeps scoring, there is no reason why he shouldn’t be called up, Danny is a natural finisher, to be up there in the Premier League scoring charts is a credit to him.”
Sparkes told Love Sport Breakfast how Ings is repaying the faith that the club has shown in him.
“I think Danny was unlucky at Liverpool, then obviously the club brought him back permanently in the summer. The backing at the club, we saw the potential and that he’d be a key part for us. He’s just been fantastic, every time he’s through on goal you think he’s going to score.”
Like most great forwards, there is a solid team behind him providing chances and according to Sparkes, The Saints are no different. “It’s not just him of course, it’s the team around him that work tirelessly to put him in those situations, for Danny, he’s the one that scores the goals - but not forgetting the intensity that everyone works at to get him those opportunities.”
Danny Ings is not the only man in form at St Mary’s. James Ward-Prowse has delivered consistent fantastic performances in recent weeks, proving how essential he’s been to his sides turnaround in fortunes. Sparkes sung the midfielder's praises.
“I think he’s played every game really for us this season in that midfield, he’s got bags of energy he doesn’t seem to stop. Especially the way we want to press, with high energy, pressing off the ball he’s been magnificent".
"With Danny scoring the goals, you forget about the work the rest of the team do and James has been a pivotal part of our work off the ball and obviously he’s got the quality on the ball.”
Ralph Hassenhüttl deserves immense amount of credit for lifting a Southampton side with depleted confidence, and Sparkes has credited the manager for his response to THAT 9-0 home defeat.
“We had to take a look at ourselves as a collective - players, staff everything around what we do. To be fair to Ralph, it was just one of those things we went back to his philosophy, tightened things up in other aspects.”
Listen to The Southampton fan show every Thursday from 8pm on Love Sport Radio.