During Phil Hodgkinson’s question and answer session earlier this evening, there was an unexpected announcement as Town’s fifth signing of the summer was unveiled.
It was revealed Liverpool’s, very highly-rated goalkeeper, Kamil Grabara would be joining the club on a season-long loan.
The 20-year-old, who featured earlier in the summer for Poland in the Under-21 European Championships in Italy, spent the second half of last season with Danish Superliga side, Aarhus Gymnastikforening.
For Town, it is an important signing at an important time.
A major drawback which ultimately proved fatal for Town last summer was their recruitment strategy. Not only was there a lack of coherency but there was also a failure to identify positions that needed strengthening, as well as an inability to bring in players that were an improvement on what we already had.
This summer, with the unfortunate departure of Jonas Lössl who opted to join Everton rather than extend his stay at Town, Town find themselves in a somewhat precarious situation.
Amongst the goalkeepers that are already at the club, Ben Hamer’s ominous omission (although a blessing in disguise) from pre-season plans leaves Town without a senior goalkeeper.
Between Joel Coleman and Ryan Schofield, there is certainly potential but as the pre-season games have demonstrated quite clearly, the upcoming season may be a step too far for either.
Therefore, it was blatantly obvious that Town were in the market for a goalkeeper and it was likely to be one who comes in on loan.
Integral to Town’s success in their promotion season from the Championship was their excellent usage of the loan system and this is further proof that Town are returning to that tried and tested method, with Grabara likely to be the first of the three Premier League loans that were referred to by Hodgkinson and Winter.
I need to remind no one of the heroics of Danny Ward, another highly-rated prospect who joined Town on loan from Liverpool, Hodgkinson and co will be hoping that the parallels continue and Grabara can have a similar effect.
Looking at the Polish keeper himself, he seems to have all the hallmarks that Jan Siewert is looking for.
Following Town’s relegation, big characters and personalities are needed to change the overall mentality of the squad and Grabara is exactly that, in both a literal and a metaphorical sense.
Standing at 6ft 5in, Grabara is a dominating figure between the sticks. As someone who is strong in the air and commands his area well, it is something that is likely to be tested much more at senior level. Fortunately for him, it is something that he excels at.
With sound reading of the game and good distribution, Grabara is able to show the necessary composure on the ball as well as the sweeping skills expected of a modern-day keeper.
If a strong relationship can be formed between Christopher Schindler, Tommy Elphick and Grabara in the coming weeks, then Town could well have one of the most formidable defences in the Championship next season.
In terms of his mental strength, Grabara falls into the category of ambitious, hungry and fearless – all traits that could be used to describe the team that Jan Siewert is building.
The 20-year-old who is still in the primitive stages of his career himself exudes confidence and his overall persona suggests that he will not be one to shirk responsibility.
In fact, it is more than likely that Grabara will be looking to seize the opportunity with both hands and make his mark with Huddersfield Town next season.
It should not come as too much of a surprise considering Grabara made his senior debut in Poland for Ruch Chorzow at the age of sixteen.
Through the activity in the transfer market already and his refreshing openness to turn to youth, Siewert’s fully-fledged belief in young players is clear for all to see.
What may have been attractive to Grabara and Liverpool is that Siewert does not shy away from offering young players significant roles in his side, irrespective of age, if they are good enough.
We have seen in the past how Liverpool like to impose that their loanees play a certain percentage of games, so I think we can safely presume that Grabara arrives as Town’s first choice keeper going into next season.
With an abundance of natural ability and a very high ceiling of potential, Grabara appears to be the missing piece of the puzzle for Siewert. The goalkeeping position was one of major concern and potential weakness, however, it could now be one of strength.
What the announcement confirmed tonight was that Town may be the first major beneficiaries if Grabara proves to be yet another Premier League loan masterstroke.