Liverpool goalkeeper Danny Ward may be on loan at Aberdeen for the season, but the 22-year-old has his eyes set on Anfield and making a name for himself as the Reds’ future number one. Before he can worry about that, though, there’s the small matter of a title to try to win.
"Scotland has been very enjoyable," said Ward, who has locked down the starting job for the surprise Scottish league challengers. "We’ve been doing well this season. I might not be called on for 80 minutes then have an important save to make. It’s similar to being at a big club in England, like Liverpool."
Aberdeen are currently a point off Celtic at the top of the table in Scotland, and Ward has started all 20 league games for the Dons, making 59 saves and earning nine shutouts along the way. With Ward between the sticks, Aberdeen have the second fewest goals against in the Scottish Premiership.
It’s an experience that has Ward thinking he might have a shot at Liverpool next season, especially after the club signed him to a new deal last summer before sending him north on loan. Depending on what Liverpool do over the next month in goal, he might just have a chance when he returns in the summer.
"It’s definitely an ambition of mine, to be Liverpool’s first choice," he said. "I think I can play at the highest level, [and] ideally that’s at Liverpool. They gave me a new long-term contract before I came up. I took it to mean they think I’ve got a chance. Long-term, I would love to be their number one."
While Liverpool are facing off against Sunderland on Wednesday, Ward and Aberdeen will play against Partick Thistle with a chance to leapfrog Celtic and head into the new year top of the table. If Ward can backstop the Scottish side to an unlikely title, he will return to Anfield filled with confidence.
"We are in a good position, playing good football," he added. "On a personal level I feel I’m performing consistently. It’s what I’ve been craving, playing on a big stage with the pressure on you. The aim is to win the league. I think as a squad, we know we are good enough to push Celtic all the way."