Ings dreams of Euro 2020 will have to be put on hold


The reported decision to postpone the European Championship until next year may mean the likes of Southampton’s Danny Ings missing out on England selection.

The coronavirus pandemic has decimated the sporting world and it always seemed likely that Euro 2020 would become Euro 2021.

The Norwegian FA reported on Tuesday that the authorities have tried to free up some space in the calendar to complete the European domestic season.

It is still unclear when league action will return, with the virus showing no signs of abating at present and reports that it will get considerably worse before starting to improve.

Three Lions chief Gareth Southgate looks like having another 12 months to finalise his plans and other players will doubtless come into the reckoning for international selection.

Ings had been touted as a possible squad member after a stellar season for Saints which has seen him bag 18 goals in all competitions, with 15 of this coming in the Premier League.

The 27-year-old’s prowess at Burnley earned him a move to Liverpool in 2015 but his short-lived Anfield career was ruined by injuries, with just 14 league outings.

A 2018 loan move to St Mary’s was followed by a permanent deal last summer and the man from Winchester has gone from strength to strength.

He has finally fulfilled his potential and was fighting it out for the Golden Boot before the suspension of all European football.

Capped once by England in 2015, Ings’ name had been mentioned as a possibility for Euro 2020, with Jamie Vardy no longer in the picture but he will have to do it all over again next season in order to stay in Southgate’s thoughts.

There is a theory that players at smaller clubs need to work harder than those in the big six to earn international honours and there has been no questioning Ings’ desire and work rate in 2019-2020.

He has started 23 top-flight games for Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side and looked lively up front in a side that struggled for much of the campaign.

His last goal came in a 2-1 home defeat to Burnley and it remains to be seen when he will next get a chance to add to his season’s tally.

Ings was always only ever going to be on the fringes of the England team and, in top form, he stood more of a chance of being included.

The challenge now is to keep it going over the next 12 months to make sure he does not end his career as a one-cap wonder.