Southampton’s Danny Ings deserves to be recalled to the England squad, says former Three Lions striker Ian Wright.
Only Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy has scored more than Ings’ 14 Premier League goals this season.
The 27-year-old’s only England cap came as a substitute in October 2015, and he is rebuilding his career after two bad knee injuries while at Liverpool.
“Ings is doing brilliantly. He makes a lot of goals out of nothing,” said Wright on BBC Radio 5 Live.
Speaking on the Monday Night Club, the former Arsenal forward added: “I hope he can continue his form. After what he has been through he deserves it.”
Since former Burnley player Ings made his move from Anfield to St Mary’s permanent during the summer, only fellow Englishmen Vardy – who stepped away from international football in 2018 – and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United have netted as many goals in the league.
With England captain and talisman Harry Kane ruled out until April with a hamstring injury, discussion has turned to who England manager Gareth Southgate could turn to to lead the line at this summer’s European Championship if the Tottenham striker is not fit.
Wright believes Ings could have a similar impact at Euro 2020 as Italy’s Salvatore Schillaci did at the 1990 World Cup – coming into the tournament as a relative unknown before finishing as top scorer. He also referenced ex-Manchester United forward Diego Forlan, who was joint top scorer at the 2010 World Cup as Uruguay reached the semi-finals.
“When you see the goals he is scoring – brilliant runs, half chances – if he can continue that form he can have a Toto Schillaci or a Diego Forlan [tournament],” Wright said.
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Ings has scored 40% of all his Premier League goals this season. And he has netted with 25% of his shots – only Vardy on 35% and Manchester United’s Mason Greenwood on 27% can claim to be more efficient in front of goal.
The same three players return goals quicker than any others in the competition’s top 10 scorers. Greenwood finds the net every 104 minutes, ahead of Vardy on 106 minutes and Ings on 110 minutes.
But when ‘big chances’ are analysed rather than just shots, the Southampton man is top of the pile, in terms of English forwards, on 73%.