Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp is relishing the opportunity to catch up with former Reds striker Danny Ings when Southampton visit Anfield on Saturday.
Ings’ time on Merseyside was ravaged by injury and he opted to relaunch his career at Southampton with a loan move in August 2018 which became permanent before the start of this season.
It has proved a shrewd move for Saints, with the 27-year-old scoring 14 times in 24 starts in 2019/20 to help Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men climb the table after a slow start and spark talk of an England recall.
Klopp was effusive in his praise for Ings but hopes he can be kept quiet this weekend with table-topping Liverpool looking to edge closer to their first league title in 30 years.
The Liverpool manager said: “Everybody here is so happy with the situation of Danny, he is still our boy.
“We celebrate the goals he scores, although that will be different tomorrow.
“Apart from the games against us, we cannot wish him any better. He is such a wonderful person.
“He didn’t have enough game time here for some good reasons and the decision he made to go Southampton was perfect. He needed time to get his rhythm back and now he is on fire, a bit like their whole team.
“We are happy to see him tomorrow, we wish him the best season of his life but not tomorrow obviously.”
Ings spoke earlier this week of the special relationship he enjoyed with the medical staff at Anfield, a point echoed by Klopp.
The German added: “That’s what these people do with every player. With Ingsy, he’s a very likeable person, very staff orientated, he had a very good relationship with all the staff members.
“When I came in in October 2015, he got injured in my first training session, not a good start, and from that moment all the medics worked their socks off to get him back.
“There were a lot of worries about him, but he’s a very positive person and seeing him now performing like this is wonderful.”
Liverpool have made just one addition in the January window – Takumi Minamino from Salzburg – but Klopp insists transfer talks are always ongoing for the longer term.
“No one here is relaxed,” he said. “At the moment we are not really busy with transfer decisions, but we are constantly in talks and exchanging ideas about what will help us in the long term.”
Asked how he could improve a squad that has dropped just two points in 24 league games, Klopp said: “It’s not easy but it’s possible.
“We just prepare for potential situations and we always try to strengthen.
“That could mean looking at our own squad. We believe we can do a lot with this existing squad.
“It would be really strange to improve easily a squad like this. It needs to be 100 per cent the right player.”