Why Sheffield United must complete a shrewd deal to sign Ben Woodburn on loan
As per reports, Sheffield United are keen to sign Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn on loan this summer. United boss Chris Wilder wants to beef up his squad ahead of the 2018/19 Championship campaign and has registered his interest in Woodburn.
A couple of years ago, Ben Woodburn was being touted as the next big thing at Anfield, with many Reds fans unable to hold onto their excitement. The 18-year-old made his first-team debut for Liverpool in a Premier League victory over Sunderland in 2016, before surpassing Michael Owen’s record to become the Reds’ youngest ever goalscorer three days later.
However, the Wales international’s development hasn’t gone according to the plans as he has managed only a handful of appearances for the first-team under Jurgen Klopp.
Woodburn is just 18 years old but the Liverpool prodigy already has 7 international caps to his name, with his Wales debut coming in the World Cup qualifier victory over Austria in September 2017. Woodburn managed to mark his Wales debut with a goal that made him the nation’s second-youngest goalscorer at the tender age of just 17.
However, with competition for places in the Liverpool first-team being fierce, it will be an uphill task for the young attacker to break into the starting line-up next season at Liverpool and a loan move, therefore, would make complete sense. And a loan move to Sheffield United would be the best thing for all the parties involved.
Woodburn is very young and needs to play regularly to achieve what he craves for in the future. Sheffield United will provide him with the platform to hone his skills and make giant leaps in his development. He could be the ideal replacement for David Brooks, who left Bramall Lane to join Bournemouth earlier this summer.
The Welshman could be a diverse attacking weapon for Chris Wilder at Sheffield as he can play anywhere across the front line. However, the nimble-footed attacker typically plays on the left-wing.
He can also drop down in the midfield or play as a No.10 for the Blades if required. A clinical finisher, Woodburn would give the Blades an option that they don’t currently have.
Woodburn must continue to develop, both physically and in terms of gradations of the game without compromising the raw skills which have made him such a thrilling kid to watch.
He signed a long-term deal last autumn and has a long way to go from here on. But should Sheffield come up with a loan offer, the teenager must not shy away to step out of the shadows to boost his development.