Kamil Grabara’s first taste of English football ends in defeat – but Liverpool loanee still impresses

6 August 2019

Kamil Grabara played his first competitive game in England on Monday night, but the Liverpool loanee’s debut for Huddersfield ended in a 2-1 loss to Derby.


Terriers manager Jan Siewert has placed great faith in the 20-year-old Grabara as he heads into his first season in the Championship.

Arriving on a season-long deal after a strong half-campaign with AGF Aarhus in Denmark, this is the Pole’s biggest challenge yet as he aims to establish himself in English football.

Siewert has named Grabara his No. 1, and the Reds ‘keeper started in Huddersfield’s opener at home to Derby this week, as one of two debutants.

Unfortunately, he had conceded within 22 minutes, and it came after a poor attempted pass back from another player making his bow, Tommy Elphick, who shouldered the ball into a dangerous area.

Elphick’s shoddy effort forced Grabara to rush out to make a headed clearance outside his penalty area, and this resulted in him being lobbed by Tommy Lawrence to put Derby 1-0 ahead:

Things didn’t get much better for Grabara three minutes later, when Lawrence wriggled into space despite the attention of four Huddersfield defenders.

The Wales midfielder then fired an unstoppable shot into the top corner, which the Reds youngster could do little about:

It was a difficult start for Grabara, but Huddersfield had pulled one back on the half-hour, after Everton loanee Kieran Dowell brought down Juninho Bacuna in the penalty area.

Karlan Grant stepped up to convert, which set up a fierce final hour as the Terriers pushed for an equaliser, with Alex Pritchard particularly impressive.

Grabara was called upon again just before the break, however, and he made an excellent save to deny Martyn Waghorn, diving low to his left to keep out a goal-bound strike.

And in the second half, he showed real bravery to come out and save a brilliant cross from the Waghorn in the second half, colliding with Terence Kongolo in the process but escaping injury after a knee to the face.

The game ended in defeat for Siewert’s side, but the Huddersfield Examiner awarded Grabara a seven-out-of-10 rating in their post-match review, with only Pritchard more highly regarded.

Speaking after the game, Grabara reflected on his first outing, but showed his mentality as he focused on the result and how he could “contribute a little better.”

“I’m happy that I made my debut for a big club, but I just feel sorry for the fans—I don’t know how many were in the stadium but I can imagine over 20,000,” he said.

“Obviously in the first game of the season this is not the result you want to get.

“[So] I’m happy to make my debut, but there’s many more games to come and I think I can contribute a little better and help the team to get the points.”

Grabara has immense potential as a goalkeeper, and it is testament to this that he is starting between the sticks for a Championship side at just 20.

These learning experiences will be crucial, particularly if he has hopes of succeeding Adrian and vying for the starting spot with Alisson in the years to come at Anfield.

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