Burnley boss Sean Dyche insists that sought after striker Danny Ings will be back to his best after speculation surrounding his Turf Moor future had seemingly unsettled the club’s leading scorer.
The 22-year-old had been heavily linked with a move to Anfield prior to the trip to the Stadium of Light, with the suggestion that the England Under 21 international would be loaned back to the club for the remainder of the season.
However, such a proposal was prohibited by the Premier League under rule V7 which stated that a player cannot be purchased and loaned back between top tier clubs in the same transfer window.
Ings failed to register a single shot on goal in the 2-0 defeat to Sunderland and was subsequently replaced by Lukas Jutkiewicz just after the hour mark had passed.
But Dyche stated that Ings, who is out of contract in the summer, is more than ready to face West Brom on Sunday. “He’s been good,” said Dyche. “I think it’s the only time for the young player - who is doing a fantastic job and is a fantastic young talent - that I thought the 48 hours around that period were hard to take for him. It looked like it had sapped him a little bit.
“He’s been fantastic in training this week, he’s got a big smile on his face, and I’ve always said he’ll be a Burnley player going forward. That’s the strength of the club; the chairman has said it, the chief exec, I said it and so did the player. We know he’s well and truly aligned with what we need to do to be productive in this division.”
While Dyche was eagerly anticipating a brief reprieve from the Ings inquisition it later emerged that Liverpool were looking for a loophole - under rule U8 - to bag the striker on a pre-contract agreement. La Liga outfit Real Sociedad and Premier League champions Manchester City are also rumoured to be taking a keen interest.
“We speak about his football, that’s the key thing,” Dyche said. “He knows that football is the key to his future, his immediate future with Burnley, and then we’ll see beyond that. I always say that I want him to play with a smile on his face, I think he’s at his best when he does that, and I think he’s been doing that this season, particularly on his comeback from injury. He’s adjusted fantastically to this level and he’s delivering very good performances for us.”
Dyche added: “We just stay focused on what goes on on the pitch, it’s as simple as that. We’ve had it for about a year. The press has been all over it - is Danny Ings staying or is he going? There’s a million myths and a million media spins so we just focus on football. The rest of it will take care of itself.”