Liverpool will see Danny Ward get more minutes before the end of the season, and it's likely that the Welsh goalkeeper will get another opportunity against Swansea City on Sunday. Jürgen Klopp is set to shuffle his squad around to preserve the players who will be tasked with securing a place in this season's Europa League final.
Ward was given his first-team debut earlier in the month against one of the season's surprise packages, AFC Bournemouth. The 22-year-old acquitted himself relatively well but did show the odd shaky moment. However, his performance was far more comfortable than what Adam Bogdan showed earlier in the season. Usually outfield positions are rotated far more than the goalkeeper, but Klopp feels that goalkeepers are people too.
[His debut] was really good. Especially with no rhythm, playing like that was impressive. I have had no final talk to [goalkeeping coach] John Achterberg but I could say it’s maybe likely that he will play at Swansea. I’m not sure in this moment because I don’t know how he feels – he had the same trip [to Villarreal] without the game. We need to have a look at this. But he will have one or the other game until the end of the season because of the intensity of our schedule. Even the goalkeeper has an intensive time.
Simon Mignolet made a superb save to deny Cédric Bakambu from giving Villarreal a late lead before poor defending soon after undid the 28-year-old's good work. If giving the club's first-choice a weekend off helps both his and his understudy's development, it's a move that Klopp has to make. In any case, Ward was recalled from regularly impressing for Aberdeen to fight for minutes at Anfield. Such opportunities to play in the Premier League are not only a reward for his fine form on loan but also the youngster's diligence and patience.