Lost amidst the excitement over reports Liverpool were closing on a deal to bring Roberto Firmino to Anfield, the club have announced that 22-year-old goalkeeper Danny Ward has signed a new long-term deal. The arrival of Adam Bogdan means he is unlikely to be in contention for first team minutes this year, and a loan is likely in his future, but it does signal the club still have high hopes for him down the road.
Ward made the bench a number of times down the stretch last season, and has also been called up to the Wales senior team, though he has so far only been capped at the U21 level. When he wasn’t on loan with Morecambe, where he spent a month last season and made five starts, Ward was a regular for Liverpool’s reserve team, and has looked a promising prospect since he arrived from Wrexham in January of 2012 for a £100k fee.
His new deal isn’t just the short, year or two extension so often handed out to kids the club hasn’t quite made up their mind on yet, either. It’s believed to be a five-year contract that will keep him at the club through 2020, and it suggests that longer term Liverpool may in fact see Ward as Simon Mignolet’s potential replacement.