Danny Ings says life at Liverpool is good after the injury nightmare of the last two years, with Wednesday’s Champions League debut a special moment for the 25-year-old.
Ings’ Reds career has been one littered with disappointment, with back-to-back cruciate ligament injuries restricting him to just 17 appearances since his arrival in July 2015.
Having looked as though a January exit may be on the cards, Jurgen Klopp instead allowed Daniel Sturridge to join West Brom, keeping Ings at Anfield.
Although very much a peripheral figure, the likeable former Burnley man is fit again and enjoyed a late cameo in the thrilling 5-0 win at Porto.
Ings couldn’t hide his happiness at making his Champions League bow, and says just being part of this talented Liverpool squad is something to cherish.
“It was one of those things where you watch it as a kid and have a dream of playing in the competition,” Ings told Liverpoolfc.com.
“So to come on and make my debut was a huge moment for me. I was very, very happy.
“To be part of this group in a competition like that is huge for me, from the levels that I’ve come from over the years.
The 25-year-old now wants to build on that, saying: “I want to stay around it with the lads and try to win as many games as we can and see how far we can go in the competition.”
Speaking a little more about his general lack of involvement – he has only played six times in 2017/18 – Ings admits it is hard to feature regularly.
“I’ve been fit but we’ve got such a quality group of lads,” he added.
“I had to be patient; the manager didn’t think I was quite ready for the early months of the season.
“To be in the Champions League squad, get minutes and play a part in the fifth goal to help Sadio get his hat-trick was very nice.”
Ings is widely seen as one of the most popular players at Liverpool, and his attitude during his time out injured is thought to have wowed Klopp.
Whether or not he has a long-term future at the club is certainly up for debate, but while he is here, an immaculate work and team ethic is guaranteed.