Clarets striker in England squad on merit
Gareth Southgate insists Danny Ings has earned his place in the England U21 squad following his blistering start to the season.
Clarets striker Ings scored his first international goals in Tuesday’s record 9-0 victory over San Marino, netting in each half to take his tally to 16 goals in 20 games this season.
And U21 Head Coach Southgate, who handed Ings his full debut at Shrewsbury’s Greenhous Meadow, admits he has been impressed by the Burnley frontman.
Southgate said: “In every training session Danny has had with us he has looked more and more comfortable in the environment.
“I was very impressed when I came to watch him for the first time and he has a desire to improve and learn.
“The runs that Danny makes across the face of defenders and the quality of his finishing is excellent and everything I have seen from him has been very positive.”
Ings’ inclusion in the qualifiers has now put him in the frame for a place in the U21 European Championship finals in the Czech Republic in 2015, should England qualify.
And Southgate, whose squad top their European qualifying group with four games to play – starting with a double-header against Wales next March – insists places are up for grabs for players outside the Premier League.
He said: “For someone who has not been in the international system up to now, Danny is an example of how important it is not to forget players like him, playing at a club who are in a rich vein of form.
“It’s important that we don’t just look at the bigger clubs to pick our players from.
“We had Patrick Bamford, who is on loan at Milton Keynes (from Chelsea), with us along with Danny and several other players doing well in the Championship and playing with confidence.
“Tuesday was one of the reasons I made the changes, because those who have come in warranted the opportunity and taken it.”