Liverpool goalkeeping coach John Achterberg has claimed that the Reds will keep hold of Danny Ward this summer, with the aim for him to compete alongside Simon Mignolet and Loris Karius for game time.
Ward impressed last season with his performances for Huddersfield in their promotion-winning campaign from the Championship. His ability (and penalty-saving heroics in the play-offs) has reportedly resulted in the club wanting to keep the Welshman there on a permanent basis for the challenge of the Premier League. However, Achterberg has admitted that such an outcome was never the plan for Liverpool.
“It was always the plan for Danny to try to get him playing for two years and help move his level on,” he told the Liverpool Echo.
The coach also went on to discuss the stability that Ward would bring the Liverpool squad, claiming that three shot-stoppers gives them good coverage in case of injuries or suspension.
“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,”
Achterberg maintained that keeping Ward with the squad would be good for him – hinting that he would get his chance to impress.
“My opinion is that in goalkeeping terms, things look pretty good for Liverpool. At a club like Liverpool small things get highlighted a lot more than at other clubs,” he added.
“Look at other clubs, they had their moments last season where not everything was perfect with their goalies.
“My job is to try to help the goalies to stay positive. I always talk to them and tell them what I think can be improved and I explain why we’re working on something.”