Defender Ward describes capture of record signing Defour as a '˜real coup' for the Clarets
Birthday boy Stephen Ward feels that the capture of new record signing Steven Defour is a major coup for the club.
The Belgium international, who arrived at Turf Moor from RSC Anderlecht earlier in the week in a deal believed to be in the region of £7.5, is expected to make his bow tomorrow against Liverpool following the departure of David Jones.
The 28-year-old comes with a wealth of experience having won the Pro League with Standard Liege, the Primeira Liga with Porto while also featuring in the Champions League and the Europa League.
Adding World Cup appearances for his nation to his resume, Ward said: “We’ve got a new record signing and we’re excited to see what he brings to the squad and to the team as well.
“He looks like a record signing. He’s good on the ball, he’s intelligent and we’ve heard things about him before and had great reports. Hopefully he can be a big asset for us for the rest of the season.
“I’ve known of him, I’ve seen him play and spoke to a lot of people who thought really highly of him.
“When a player comes of his calibre, with however many caps he’s got for a side like Belgium, he’s going to be a decent player.
“It’s a real coup for the club to get them. He should be a big asset for us for the rest of the season.
“When a player comes in with the caps he has for Belgium, he’s going to be a good player, so it’s a real coup for the club and a great asset for us.”
Defour’s introduction brings the number of new faces to three following the additions of Charlton Athletic pair Nick Pope and Johann Berg Gudmundsson.
Republic of Ireland international Ward feels that the central midfielder’s calibre will help the club land more targets before the deadline.
“We’re in a tough league, the squad is going to be tested to the limit, so I think any new players are a benefit, and for him to come in as a record signing with such a good background, it’s a real plus,” he said.
“I think attracting a player of that calibre will hopefully open the door to a few more. It’s rough for everyone, the money Championship players are going for at the minute is unbelievable.
“I suppose that’s what comes with the Premier League and the money.”
Ward added: “But we’ve got a good squad together, Steven has come in, and he’s a big signing for us, with Johann earlier in the window and hopefully one or two more.
“We’re under no illusions how difficult it’s going to be, to come up as a Championship side, and you need fresh faces and quality.
“Im sure the manager is working hard to get players in, and getting players like Steven in can only help.”
Meanwhile, Clarets defender Ward is looking forward to the encounter with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds on home soil. The 30-year-old has had good and bad experiences in the past, given his marching orders on Boxing Day in 2009 before scoring 12 month later for Wolves.
And he’s anticipating another action-packed game after witnessing their 4-3 win over Arsenal at the Emirates on the opening weekend.
Every game in this league is tough and they won’t come much tougher than Liverpool on Saturday,” he said.
“It was probably one of the most outstanding performances of the weekend. It was the one that shone the most. It was a great performance, they’ll be really pleased with that and they’ll be full of confidence.
“They scored four good goals, their work rate was second to none, their manager has instilled a real work ethic in to every player, but we work hard ourselves and we’ve got belief.
“We need that to stay in this league. It’s another tough fixture for us but it’s a good challenge.
“We’ll need to be on our game but it’s going to be like that every week in the Premier League. Turf Moor is a tough place to come and we’ll be ready for the battle.”