Southampton ace Ings ready for England

Danny Ings

With England's place in the European Championship secured in 2020, the focus now turns to Gareth Southgate's squad.

The expectation levels will go through the roof next summer after England showcased their skills at the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Southgate’s men proved they can handle the pressure at the highest level, and they breezed through their qualifying group to book their place in the group stage.

France, Spain and the Netherlands will be their biggest rivals as things stand and now England’s best players will get to work as they try to catch the boss’s eye.

Barring injuries, it is a certainty that Jordan Pickford, Harry Maguire, Raheem Sterling and Harry Kane are guaranteed to start.

While England’s squad looks in great shape at the moment, there are still places up for grabs.

Kane is being put under pressure by Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, while Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham is also showing signs of real promise.

Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson is next in line, while Leicester City’s Jamie Vardy is still happy to let the younger generation take their chance.

If injuries start to cause Southgate a selection headache, Vardy may return, but it is best for England to plan without him.

All of the attention seems to be on Rashford and Abraham at the moment, but down on the south coast of England, Danny Ings is quietly going about his business.

Ings seems to have been around forever but is still only 27, and he still has plenty to offer the England hierarchy.

He struggled to impose himself at Liverpool, but the move to south has reignited his career and he has already scored eight goals in 15 Premier League games this season, including a header in Wednesday’s 2-1 win over Norwich City.

Knee injuries have derailed his career on two occasions, but the Winchester-born ace continues to plug away.

His sole England cap came in Euro 2016 qualifying under Roy Hodgson, but Southgate has worked with him before while he was England Under-21 coach.

He has a real eye for goal, and his link-up play could really help England if they need him off the bench. For the first time in a while, England have several options in the final third, and there is no reason why Ings cannot replace Wilson in the current squad.

Southampton climbed out of the relegation zone after their win on Wednesday and Ings will hope to add to his tally when they face Newcastle United, West Ham United and Aston Villa before Christmas.