It was quite a year out on loan for Danny Ward. The Welshman became an integral part of David Wagner’s Huddersfield Town team and their successful promotion to the Premier League from the Championship. His penalty shoot-out saves during the club’s promotion play-off have already sealed his place in Huddersfield’s happy lore. But those heroics and Ward’s impressive goalkeeping last season have given Liverpool goalkeeping coach, John Achterberg, and Jürgen Klopp a reason to hold onto the 24-year-old shot stopper for the upcoming campaign.
“It was always the plan for Danny,” said Achterberg, “to try to get him playing for two years and help move his level on.
“He showed good consistency for Huddersfield. We’ll bring him back because we want three good goalies to fight each other.
“It’s going to be a big season next season. If there are any injuries or suspensions, you need to have three top goalies.
“You need that competition. We need to keep everyone fit and improving so they are ready to take that chance whenever it comes along.”
With Simon Mignolet having proven himself worthy of the shirt (for some), Loris Karius is likely to remain Liverpool’s number two between the posts. That leaves Ward as our man in the stands, decked out in a suit, giggling with Woodburn, etc. But he would be training with top goalkeepers every day knowing that he has a legitimate chance at seeing the pitch based on merit if an opportunity arrives.
Hudderfield supporters will be sorry to hear that Ward won’t be returning to them over the summer. But, their position as Premier League newbies perhaps calls for a goalkeeper of a higher caliber as they wade into the “greatest league” for the first time since 1972.