There were bittersweet emotions for Joe Gomez when the news of Danny Ings' switch to Southampton was confirmed last week.

The popular striker sealed a move that will see him spend 2018-19 on loan with the Premier League club before a permanent transfer comes into effect on July 1, 2019.

Ings’ three years at Liverpool would certainly have yielded more than 25 appearances and four goals were it not for the two serious, long-term knee injuries he suffered.

The first coincided with a similar setback for Gomez, and the pair – who both joined the Reds in the summer of 2015 – developed a strong bond as they rehabilitated simultaneously during their debut seasons.

So the defender was delighted his friend has a new opportunity to kick-start his career but also sad to see him leave a close-knit group at Liverpool.

“I was buzzing for him but obviously it is difficult to see him go. Everyone is missing him already,” Gomez told this week.

“But it’s a great move for him to go back home and be around where he is from, as well as going to a club like Southampton. It’s great for him.

“He came on at the weekend and looked good and sharp. I hope he can enjoy his football and get a good run. He deserves nothing less. Everyone misses him but we wish him well.”