Liverpool loanee Danny Ward made his debut for Huddersfield Town on Tuesday evening, playing 45 minutes in their 0-0 draw with Werder Bremen.
Ward joined the Terriers on a season-long loan earlier in July, after signing a new five-year contract with the Reds.
The 23-year-old has been earmarked as one of Liverpool’s brightest young prospects, with his upcoming campaign at the John Smith’s Stadium designed to aid his development.
This began against Bundesliga outfit Werder Bremen in Zell am Ziller, Austria, as David Wagner’s side continued their pre-season preparations.
Named in Wagner’s starting lineup for the high-profile clash, Ward provided Huddersfield with a composed presence between the sticks.
The Wales international commanded a back four of Chris Lowe, Christopher Schindler, Mark Hudson and Martin Cranie, looking to shackle an attack that including promising 18-year-old Johannes Eggestein.
It proved to be a comfortable 45-minute outing for Ward, but he showcased his dominant presence when stepping off his line to counter Werder’s set-pieces.
Wagner has implemented a similar high, front-footed defensive line as Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool, having developed as a coach under the 49-year-old during his time as reserve manager at Borussia Dortmund.
This saw Ward take charge in the defensive third, with his strong reading of the game proving a valuable asset for Huddersfield.
Felt good to finally get the @htafcdotcom shirt on today! ??
— Danny Ward (@dan_ward52) July 26, 2016
Speaking after the game, Wagner said he was “very happy” with Ward’s debut, envisaging a promising future for the youngster in West Yorkshire.
“With Danny Ward, I thought he looked very good and very strong,” the German explained.
“He is a personality in the goal and I am very happy to have him with us.
“It’s been great to bring him into the group in Austria and he will help us in the future for sure.”
Huddersfield’s pre-season preparations continue against another Bundesliga side, FC Ingolstadt, on July 29, before their Championship campaign kicks off at home to Brentford on August 6.
Ward can look forward to an intensive season under Wagner, before returning to Liverpool next summer, likely to compete with Loris Karius for a starting role.
Adam Bogdan (Wigan Athletic), Ryan Fulton (Chesterfield Town) and Ryan Kent (Barnsley) are also away from Merseyside for the season, while Allan Rodrigues (Hertha Berlin), Jon Flanagan (Burnley) and Taiwo Awoniyi (NEC Nijmegen) are poised to seal further temporary moves.
As ever, This is Anfield will bring you extensive coverage of how Liverpool’s loanees fare throughout the season, with our weekly Loan Watch updates.