MARK Hughes has faith Saints can provide a platform for Danny Ings to start firing in the goals once more and resurrect his injury-hit career.

The club pulled-off a late, late deal for Ings on transfer deadline day, signing the striker on an initial loan deal ahead of a £16m permanent switch from parent club Liverpool next summer.

It ends a painful period for the 26-year-old who was ravaged by injuries during his three-year spell at Anfield, after moving to Merseyside in 2015 from Burnley .

Having sustained serious injuries to both knees, the Southampton lad, who was brought up kicking a ball around on Netley Rec, started just six Premier League matches for Liverpool in three seasons, scoring three goals in 14 top-flight appearances overall.

But Saints boss Hughes is confident that Ings can bring important goals to St Mary’s, after two seasons of struggles in front of goal for the club.

"That’s the one thing that’s stymied him really, is the injuries when he went to Liverpool,” he said.

"But he’s come back strong. He ended strongly at the end of last season. He’s fit, he’s well, he’s ready to go.

“He’s at a point in his career where he wants to start making an impression again. He came back strongly for Liverpool at the end of last year and showed his worth to them.

"You’ll note Jurgen’s comments about him. As a character and as a guy. That was an important factor in being able to bring him here as well because we want to enhance the dressing room and the personnel, so that’s an added bonus for us."

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed that the Reds will miss Ings after he sealed his move south.

The German boss added: “He is such an outstanding boy. Honestly, if you could bottle character and spirit, his would sell worldwide - he is so incredibly positive and full of energy. But we won’t just miss his character because he is a footballer who has all the tools."

Certainly, Saints will be hoping Ings can bring a new edge to their attack.

Not since 2015/16, when Sadio Mane, Graziano Pelle and Shane Long reached double figures as Saints finished sixth in the Premier League, have the club had a player go beyond the ten-goal mark.

Hughes reckons Ings, who started his career at AFC Bournemouth before moving to Burnley, can fire on all cylinders at St Mary’s.

He said: "We hope so. There’s a platform here. The club wants to do well this year and has good players that will help him get to the level that he’s been before, I’m sure of that.

"I think that’s one of the reasons why he made the decision to come here over and above other clubs, who really showed a lot of interest in him. I think he sees the potential here and the ambition of the club to do well once again."

Hughes has no concerns over Ings’ injury past.

“There’s risk with every player that you bring to a club, he’s over the injury, that’s the important thing and he’s been back a while now,” he said.

“It’s not something we considered, obviously we are mindful of any player that’s had an injury.

"He’s proved his fitness, it’s not as if we have to get him rehabbed, he’s a fit young man – he’s had the injury in his younger years.

"So, you always get a better response and outcome when that happens. We don’t have any worries about his injury.”

In fact, Hughes views Ings as a perfect fit and admits he could be thrown straight into frontline action against Burnley in the Premier League curtain raiser tomorrow.

Turned down by the club for being too small at the age of 10, Ings dreamed of playing for Saints as a youngster.

Now he has the chance.

“We’re the perfect club for him at this point in his career,” Hughes said.

The Welsh boss will run the rule over Ings before making a final decision on the the former Hamble Community College and Brockenhurst College student.

“He’s available, we’ll see how he is over the next couple of days, but clearly there’s enthusiasm from him and, I’m sure, that he’d want to be part of that,” Hughes said.

“He’s fit and well. He’s trained and had game time in pre-season. If I make that decision, he’ll be ready to go. But we’ll see how he goes over the next two days but clearly he becomes an option for me.”