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It had been a season of dreams for Danny Ings. He had signed for his boyhood team, Liverpool, and was enjoying a bright start to his career at Anfield, with two goals and several strong performances in his first five games in the league. He was playing so well, in fact, that he made his English national team debut on Monday against Lithuania.
Then he tore his ACL in training on Wednesday, and now Ings will likely miss the rest of the season.
The news is a huge blow for Liverpool at a crucial time. It was believed that Ings would be vital for new manager Jürgen Klopp, given his high-energy style and skill in the high press that Klopp loves to employ. Especially coming on the heels of defender Joe Gomez suffering the same injury while with the England U-21s, and with Christian Benteke and Roberto Firmino out this weekend against Tottenham, this is an injury Liverpool can ill afford.
Frankly, they're in a full-blown injury crisis right now. Ings, Gomez, Benteke, Firmino, and captain Jordan Henderson are all out, and Philippe Coutinho is a doubt. With so many key players hurt, this is certainly going to be a difficult start to Klopp's Liverpool tenure.
In the news
Questions are being asked in UEFA as to whether or not their suspended president, Michel Platini, should resume his post when he's allowed to return. (Guardian)
FIFA presidential candidate Prince Ali bin al-Hussein has urged FIFA not to postpone February's special election, an action that will be considered at an emergency Executive Committee meeting next Tuesday. (BBC)
Sergio Ramos is back in Real Madrid training, but isn't a lock to play against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League next week. (Marca)
Holger Badstuber is finally back in Bayern Munich training, though he's unlikely to start playing again just yet. (ESPN FC)
Arsenal's CEO is on the defensive regarding his team's transfer policy in recent years. (Sky Sports)
You should be reading
Times are tough for Newcastle fans right now, but they've enjoyed some pretty great seasons on Tyneside as well. (BBC)
Just for the pure entertainment value, Rafa Benítez and Sam Allardyce are winding up quite the through-the-media argument. (Sky Sports)
What happened in Wednesday's matches
Toronto FC clinched their first ever playoff berth with a 2-1 win over New York Red Bulls. (Waking The Red)
Dallas FC moved back atop the MLS Western Conference with a thumping 2-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps. (Big D Soccer)
It took a penalty to break the deadlock, but the Portland Timbers kept a tenuous hold on their playoff spot with a 1-0 win over Real Salt Lake. (Stumptown Footy)
What to watch on Thursday (click for listings, all times ET)
Brasileiro Série A: Grêmio vs. Santos (8 p.m.): Two of the biggest team in Brazil go head-to-head in a match with a lot on the line. Grêmio still have a faint hope of challenging Corinthians for the title, while a win for Santos would see them pull to within three points of Grêmio for third place and the last spot that advances directly to the Copa Libertadores.