Danny Ward to be Leicester’s first-choice goalkeeper after Kasper Schmeichel’s exit

·2 min read
Danny Ward to be Leicester’s first-choice goalkeeper after Kasper Schmeichel’s exit

Leicester City boss Brendan Rodgers says he has no doubts over his decision to appoint Danny Ward as first-choice goalkeeper this season.

Ward made just his second Premier League appearance in over four years for the Foxes in Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Brentford after Kasper Schmeichel’s departure to Ligue 1 side Nice.

Rodgers said Daniel Iversen would also be challenging for the role last week when Schmeichel ended his 11-year stay at the King Power Stadium before handing Ward the number one jersey for his side’s Premier League opener.

When asked if his mind was made up over his number one this season, Rodgers said: “It is yes, very much so.

“I’ve always said, and the guys that have been here during my time will tell you what I’ve always said about Danny Ward, I feel he’s a number one goalkeeper.

“He’s got the number one shirt and I think you’ve seen (against Brentford) his presence. He was commanding the box, came for crosses, he’s very good with his feet.”

Ward, who helped Huddersfield win top-flight promotion during a season-long loan spell in 2016-17, has had his patience tested after serving as back-up for former Foxes skipper Schmeichel since joining from Liverpool in 2018.

“He deserves the opportunity to play,” Rodgers added. “We’ve got a young goalkeeper in behind him in Daniel Iversen, who’s done very well out on loan, so he’s there.

“And ideally if we were to bring someone else in it would be a number three so I could get our young Polish goalkeeper Jakub (Stolarczyk) out on loan, because I think he’s going to be outstanding, but he needs to play.”

Ward looked the part when called on against Brentford and was faultless for both the Londoners’ goals as they fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a point.

After goals in either half from Timothy Castagne and Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall had put Leicester in control, the Bees hit back through Ivan Toney and a stunning late equaliser from Josh Dasilva.

Dasilva, a second-half replacement for Mathias Jensen, hopes to have finally put his injury woes behind him after scoring his first Premier League goal.

The 23-year-old missed most of last season due to hip and hamstring injuries and celebrated wildly with head coach Thomas Frank in front of the travelling fans at the final whistle.

Dasilva told Brentford’s official website: “It’s been a while so I haven’t really been able to show the fans what I can do. It was good to get out there and just score.

“Thomas has a great belief in me, which is obviously great. He gave me the number 10 shirt even when I was injured, so that shows what sort of belief he has in me.”