Liverpool news Jurgen Klopp 'broken promise' led to £12.5m Liverpool transfer PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Danny Ward is set to be given a chance to become a Premier League number one goalkeeper at Leicester City having at one point looked poised to do that at Liverpool
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Over four years since his Liverpool exit, Danny Ward might, finally, be about to be given the chance to be a Premier League number one goalkeeper. The Wales international joined Leicester City from the Reds in a £12.5m deal back in July 2018, however, he has been limited to serving as Kasper Schmeichel’s deputy at the King Power Stadium ever since. As a result, he only made his Premier League debut for the Foxes back in May as they beat Watford 5-1 at Vicarage Road, ending the Dane’s record of 149 consecutive league appearances in the process. Meanwhile, his performance that day earned the praise of his manager, former Reds boss Brendan Rodgers. ““I’ve always said it, I think I have two number ones here,” the Northern Irishman said at the time. “ Danny Ward, you see his presence and some of the saves he makes. For me, it’s for the health of the group. This is his first Premier League game, and for me, respectfully, it’s not healthy, that. READ MORE: Two red cards and Steven Gerrard fury as Liverpool friendly descended into chaos READ MORE: Darwin Nunez can unleash Naby Keita as Liverpool drop Fabio Carvalho hint “He’s played in cup games and done great, and whenever we’ve gone deep I’ve put Kasper in, but it was only right for him, only right for the squad, and you could see his quality when he came in. We have a great keeper there who is then challenging Kasper. Kasper is a top-class keeper as well. “I rate him (Ward) highly. He’s played in cup games and I have felt for him because of Kasper’s level. Up until this point, we have had something to play for. This is the first period where I could change it around. I felt he was deserving of that chance. “He looked good in the goal, big and strong. He made some great saves and played with real authority. He’s not just here to carry the bags. He’s here because he’s a top goalkeeper, and it’s important that you have a number one who has a challenger who can come in and show up.” Now with Schmeichel on the verge of completing an £850,000 transfer to Nice, Ward is set to be given the chance to step up permanently after Rodgers confirmed he only intends to sign a new third-choice goalkeeper this summer. “Danny Ward is an exceptional keeper,” Rodgers said on Monday. “I’ve always said we’ve got a number one keeper there. He’s had some issues around his knee but that looks to be behind him now, he’s been training well. He’s looked good. If Kasper is to go, he’s a big possibility for us… I think we would still need to bring in another one as a back-up. I’d be happy with that. “I worked with Danny and I knew his talent from Liverpool. He’s been really unfortunate here in that Kasper has never been injured. He’s been a really loyal and supportive number two. It’s a ‘what-if’ scenario so if Kasper was to move on, we saw him (Ward) against Watford, how he comes for crosses, how he takes the ball. He can deal with the ball at his feet. Read More Related Articles Michael Owen left concerned after Liverpool signed Champions League winner from Dortmund Read More Related Articles 'No-one else gets close' - Rio Ferdinand makes blunt Liverpool admission after fresh transfer claim “He was an international keeper with Wales until he picked up a little knock so I’ve got every confidence in him to go in and do a great job…That’s the job, you come in here year on year and you want to improve and develop the ones you have. It’s just about opportunity. I think from a goalkeeping perspective, we know where we’re going and we’ll hopefully this week sort that out.” Having made his comeback from a knee injury in a behind-closed-doors game at Seagrave on Monday, Ward could be in contention to start Leicester’s Premier League opener against Brentford this Sunday. However, he knows better than most how quickly things can change in football. After all, he was briefly set to be given a chance to become Liverpool’s first-choice goalkeeper in the weeks before his 2018 move to the King Power, as Loris Karius continued to struggle following his nightmare showing in the 2018 Champions League final. However, a transfer U-turn from the Reds changed everything. Liverpool had repeatedly been linked with a move for AS Roma goalkeeper Alisson Becker throughout the 2017/18 season, but had not planned to follow up their initial interest in the Brazilian. In February 2018, the ECHO reported the Reds were put off by the shot-stopper’s £70m asking price and, with the Serie A outfit regretting setting such a low price for Mohamed Salah the previous summer as he continued to wow in his maiden season at Anfield, believed agreeing a deal would be problematic as a result. Meanwhile, Jurgen Klopp was said to be impressed with Karius’ displays at the time after deciding to drop Simon Mignolet in favour of his compatriot, and had challenged him to prove that Liverpool did not need to spend big on a number one, instead preferring to persist with his options at the club. “My favourite solution, always, is that we do it with our boys,” Klopp said the previous month. “They step up, they deliver, they improve. The problem they have is that everyone is watching them.” Ward was third-choice at Anfield at the time and made only one appearance that season, but with Mignolet expected to move on after being dropped, the Welshman, who had previously impressed on loan at Aberdeen and Huddersfield Town, was on standby to climb the pecking order. But then a concussed Karius was at fault for two goals as Liverpool lost the Champions League final to Real Madrid. With their goalkeeping situation uncertain during the summer as a result, the Reds were said to be considering Alisson or Jan Oblak, with the former their preferred target. However, the ECHO also reported in June 2018 that the Brazilian was believed to favour a move to Real Madrid while Liverpool’s stance from February regarding negotiations with Roma remained the same. As a result, when the Reds returned for pre-season training the following month, Karius was given a shot at redemption. “We start completely new,” Klopp assured Karius at Melwood, convinced that concussion was to blame for the keeper's inexplicable blunders in Kiev. Read More Related Articles Darwin Nunez gives Jurgen Klopp dilemma as injuries force Liverpool's hand Read More Related Articles Liverpool make mockery of Man City transfer stance after Marc Cucurella u-turn “We don’t use it as an excuse, we use it as an explanation,” he told the club’s website. “He was influenced by that knock, that is 100%. What the rest of the world is making of it, I don’t care. For me, it is 100% the explanation.
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. Karius appeared nervous during Liverpool's opening pre-season friendly at Chester, where a clip of the ball slipping through his legs in the warm-up went viral, while he was responsible for a poor error in conceding a goal in a 3-2 win at Tranmere Rovers. A further error against Borussia Dortmund would follow later that summer, but only after Alisson had signed. In contrast, Ward had impressed when coming on at half-time in the 7-0 win over Chester and when starting against Tranmere, with the Reds 3-0 up at half-time before his withdrawal. As a result, the ECHO reported on July 12 that the Wales international would be given the chance to become his first-choice goalkeeper throughout the rest of the summer. Klopp had been impressed with the attitude of the goalkeeper, who was understood to have raised his levels at Melwood following Liverpool’s return for pre-season. And with a move for Alisson at that time, publicly at least, looking unlikely, Ward was set to benefit at Karius’ expense. Yet behind the scenes Liverpool still had interest in the Brazilian. But despite reports they were set to bid for the goalkeeper, club sources insisted they had no immediate plans to move for him , with their stance unchanged as a result of his price-tag and preference to join Real Madrid, and had informed Alisson's representatives not to expect a bid from the Reds earlier in the year. But despite such intentions, within a week Ward was off to Leicester and Liverpool had signed Alisson in a then world-record deal for a goalkeeper. As a result, the Welshman would never actually play for the Reds again after Klopp’s intention to give him a first-choice audition. Ward had sat out Liverpool’s most recent friendly as they drew 0-0 with Bury on July 14, with Karius starting in goal and playing an hour before being replaced by Kamil Grabara. When asked why, Klopp insisted the shot-stopper would play 60 minutes himself in their next friendly away at Blackburn Rovers. “Wardy and Loris, they’ve switched because today Loris will play longer than 45 minutes, and then Wardy will in the next game and so that’s the only reason for that,” the boss told Liverpoolfc.com . Yet by the time the Reds travelled to Blackburn on July 19, Ward was in talks with the Foxes while Alisson’s move to Anfield would be completed the same night. While Liverpool had been put off moving for their number one goalkeeping target by an asking price in excess of £70m together with indications that Alisson favoured a move to Real Madrid, the La Liga giants’ decision to change their attention to Chelsea’s Thibaut Courtois changed the landscape entirely. Once the goalkeeper's agent met with Roma on Tuesday to inform the Serie A side of the player's desire to leave on July 17, the Reds made their move. A world record transfer fee for a goalkeeper of £62m, worth £53m up front with £9m of add ons was rejected, and while Roma were said to be holding out for £66m, the ECHO reported Liverpool were still confident of landing their first-choice target. After further negotiations, a £66.8m deal was agreed on July 18 , with Alisson cutting short his holiday in Sardinia to fly to Merseyside to undergo a medical and finalise the transfer . Days earlier promised to be starting at Blackburn and poised to be Liverpool’s number one goalkeeper, temporarily at least, Ward was left out of the squad that travelled to Ewood Park as Alisson’s imminent arrival prompted the Reds to sanction his departure and hold talks with Leicester . Come July 20, his move to the King Power was confirmed .
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Related Articles FSG complaints can't hide £240m truth about Liverpool owners When asked about his new signing after Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Blackburn, Klopp said: “There was a world class goalkeeper on the market, and the club gave us the opportunity to sign him. Of course for a long time it’s been clear that Alisson is a top class goalkeeper, but there was never a real chance to do it. This year there was the chance." Yet Klopp would later tell Kicker in an interview the following August that the criticism Karius suffered after the Champions League final almost made him decline the opportunity to sign the Brazilian. "I didn't tell Loris what he wanted to hear, but that is how it is," he said. "The Champions League final had nothing to do with us getting Alisson. Even if he had won it and Alisson would have been on the market we would have still signed him. "And how the people reacted negatively to Karius after the final, by trying to isolate him, that almost made me not sign Alisson and rather stick it out with Karius. But we had to be professional, our job is to have the best players in every position… "Loris is a great keeper. So what if he made a mistake in the pre-season? A pre-season is full of mistakes, nobody is fit and you train all the time. Out-field players make tons of mistakes. Loris has to continue to work hard. "Loris is now 25, at an age, in which keepers keep improving. All the best keepers make mistake, but sometimes timing is important in life. If Loris makes a mistake now, it isn't cool. In eight years nobody will care. We are totally happy with him. We simply identified another keeper, who is better, and signed him." Come the end of the summer, Karius, who received a warm welcome for his Anfield return in a pre-season friendly against Torino, followed Ward out of the exit door as he joined Bestikas on a two-year loan deal. As a result, Mignolet was forced to stay put for another season until returning to Belgium with Club Brugge in August 2019. Despite the temporary exit to Turkey, the German would remain contracted with Liverpool until the end of his deal this summer. As for Ward, it remains up for debate whether he was really set to be the Reds’ number one goalkeeper and whether Liverpool really hadn’t intended to move for Alisson back in 2018. If such a stance, albeit only brief, was a ploy to aid negotiations or a legitimate decision followed by a swift U-turn after Real Madrid switched attentions to Courtois, only club bosses will know for sure. Either way, he was Klopp’s number one goalkeeper for less than a week and without kicking a ball, before departing for Leicester. Chelsea had been interested in Alisson also, but were unable to offer him Champions League football, prompting interest in Schmeichel instead with Ward expected to replace him as a result. Yet the Dane stayed put with the Foxes as the Londoners wasted no time in making Kepa Arrizabalaga the most expensive goalkeeper in the world when signing him in a £71.6m transfer on August 8, breaking Alisson’s record after a few short weeks in the process. The fact that the Spaniard now looks to leave Stamford Bridge having lost his place over the past two seasons following numerous mistakes and poor form is another story entirely. But now, four years on, Schmiechel looks set to end his 11-year career with Leicester. As a result, Ward is poised to be granted first-choice status at the King Power, having thought that’s what he was signing up for in the first place when leaving Anfield back in 2018. Having also been denied a loan return to Huddersfield after helping them win promotion to the English top-flight back in 2017, it’s an opportunity the 29-year-old has been waiting years for. With Ward still only having three Premier League appearances under his belt as a result, with two of them coming for the Reds as understudy to Mignolet prior to Karius’ arrival in 2016, he can only hope that Rodgers stays true to his word regarding Leicester’s goalkeeper situation and that his stint as number one in the East Midlands lasts a lot longer than when Klopp turned to him at Liverpool. Third time lucky, perhaps? READ NEXT Aaron Ramsdale gives damning verdict on Mikel Arteta's failed Liverpool plan Liverpool legend Graeme Souness sends Financial Fair Play warning to Premier League title rivals Liverpool told to embrace 'dirty word' to access £700m of untapped revenue Chelsea 'open talks' with former Liverpool sporting director Michael Edwards Liverpool supporters mock Arsenal after bizarre training ground clip from Amazon documentary emerges
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