Former Liverpool striker John Aldridge has hailed the Reds' decision to recall Danny Ward from his loan spell with Aberdeen and claims the goalkeeper will improve competition in the squad. He joined the Scottish Premiership club on a season-long loan before the start of the 2015/16 season and has now returned to Anfield.
The 22-year-old has been in impressive form at Pittodrie as he kept 10 clean sheets in the league for Derek McInnes' side, which has seen them sit three points behind league leaders Celtic in the second spot. His excellent display at Aberdeen convinced the former Borussia Dortmund manager to end his loan spell.
Ward will be fighting with Simon Mignolet and Adam Bogdan for a place in the starting lineup as he has already expressed his desire to become Liverpool's number one once he returns to the parent club. Aldridge claims the Welshman will improve competition in the squad as he believes the Reds need three goalkeepers in the first team.
"Danny Ward has done brilliantly for Aberdeen and his return from loan certainly increases competition at Liverpool for the goalkeeper's shirt," Aldridge told the Liverpool Echo.
"You need three keepers and Ward is back after getting some great experience in Scotland. We'll have to wait and see where he stands in the pecking order. Adam Bogdan, who got his chance after Simon Mignolet was rested, clearly had a very difficult night against Exeter.
"I think it comes down to a lack of confidence. It got smashed at Watford last month. Everyone was on his case after that defeat.
"Bogdan is not a bad keeper and he has to be mentally strong and come through this. Mignolet came through a bad spell last season and Bogdan has to do the same. He's an international goalkeeper who needs to work at it and prove his critics wrong."
Aberdeen manager McInnes has expressed his disappointment with Liverpool's decision to recall the goalkeeper from his loan spell in Scotland. He said, "Naturally we are disappointed Liverpool FC have opted to recall Danny."
"We were very fortunate to secure Danny during the summer and we thank Liverpool for believing Pittodrie would be a good platform for him to continue his development. His progression has been clear for all to see and he's demonstrated to everyone what a capable keeper he is.
"Everyone at Aberdeen would like to thank Danny for all his efforts during his time here and wish him all her very best in his future career."