Roberto Firmino is not the only player to sign on the dotted line for Liverpool this week. One deal that may well have slipped under the radar of many Reds fans is that for academy goalkeeper Danny Ward, who has since been speaking about his aspirations of becoming our new number one.
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As our official website confirms, the 22-year-old penned a long-term extension to his contract on Tuesday, and now wants to build on that by making his first appearance for the senior team.
The Welshman was on the bench on a number of occasions last season, following an injury to Brad Jones, but now has new signing Adam Bogdan – as well as current first choice Simon Mignolet – ahead of him in the pecking order.
Nonetheless, the former Wrexham man remains confident in his own abilities and has told Liverpool’s website that he is hoping to have a big season over the next twelve months.
“I’m very happy now that it’s finally been sorted,” he said. “To sign a new long-term deal is massive for me at this stage of my career so hopefully now it’s time to kick on.
“Over the last few years since I’ve been at Liverpool I feel like I’ve come on quite a lot. Obviously it’s a massive club and to sign a new deal means they want to keep me, which is massive for me. Hopefully I can crack on, keep going and carry on my development.
“Competition is what brings us goalkeepers on. We spend a lot of time in each other’s company, away from the rest of the squad and every single day you’re fighting against each other to be the best in training, hoping to catch the eye of all the coaching staff, especially the manager.
“Obviously you welcome [competition] with open arms. Next season, we’ll see and have a chat with the club but hopefully [I can] go and get some games, that will be key for my development at the minute.
“In the long-term, who knows? I’ll carry on working hard and the ultimate goal is to play in the first team. I know I’ve got a long way to go but hopefully [I can].”
Ward went on loan to League Two side Morecambe last season and made a handful of appearances during the final weeks of the season. He’s also featured for Wales’ youth team and he thinks both experiences have helped his development.
“It was fantastic being around the first team for as long as I was and in the matchday squad. I think the month-long loan at Morecambe really put me in good stead and boosted my development again. Last year was a success for me, personally.
“All campaign, every squad that I’ve been involved in, the lads have been very welcoming. They’ve [Wales] got a real good team spirit in there and at the minute the lads are flying. Hopefully, we can make a bit of history and get to a major championship, which I think we could.”