AS Denmark goalkeeper Jonas Lossl gazes around the Mordovia Arena in Saransk ahead of today’s World Cup game with Peru, he will offer a silent ‘thank you’ to Huddersfield Town.
The 29-year-old spent the past season on loan at the John Smith’s Stadium, as the Terriers successfully battled against relegation from the Premier League.
Lossl, one of only two ever-presents alongside fellow countryman Mathias ‘Zanka’ Jorgensen, played a key role as David Wagner’s men beat the drop with a game to spare.
Not just in terms of his finger-tip save at Chelsea in the penultimate fixture but across the entire season as a career that seemed to have gone awry before moving to England was put firmly back on track.
“Joining Huddersfield definitely helped me with the World Cup,” said Lossl. “This has been my best season so far, which is great as it means I went into the World Cup on a high.”
Lossl’s only season with Mainz 05 in the Bundesliga before moving to England was a tough one. He was handed the task of replacing fans’ favourite Loris Karius following his big money move to Liverpool.
Initially, things were fine with the opening four games yielding seven points but, soon, Lossl found himself bearing the brunt of supporters’ frustration as Mainz began to struggle.
A handful of individual errors did not help but filling the gloves of Karius was the big problem for Lossl, who, by the season’s end, had been demoted to the bench in favour of the club’s Under-23s goalkeeper, Jannik Huth.
Moving to England, however, was a fresh start that he has taken with both hands. “I just want to be able to benefit the team,” said Lossl, now a permanent addition to the Town squad after the club took up an option in the initial loan deal.
“I feel at the top of my level but it is up to others if I play. Either way, I am really looking forward to the World Cup.
“It was nice to get to the end of the season, stay in the Premier League and then be able to think about the World Cup. I wasn’t able to do that before, as the whole focus had to be on the Premier League.”
Kasper Schmeichel starting the two warm-up friendlies against Sweden and Mexico suggests Lossl will have to be patient in Russia.
He does, though, already have one eye on next Thursday’s game with Australia – and Aaron Mooy – in Samara.
“I will need to give my team-mates the information about Aaron because he is a player we need to stop,” said Lossl, who came through the various age group teams to make his senior debut against Scotland in 2016.
“He is a big player for Australia. This is a good group for us and, hopefully, we can get through to the next round.”