Liverpool are set to loan Ben Woodburn to Oxford United, according to the Standard – one last major risk with the player’s future.
We’ve written before that this is really a make-or-break summer for Woodburn. The teenager hasn’t progressed as hoped and last season didn’t help at all.
He went to Sheffield United but the side quickly settled on a starting XI. That team was good enough for promotion to the Premier League and Woodburn, left on the sidelines, returned to Melwood in the winter.
We also thought a potential move to Hull City would be a risk, too. Woodburn is in dire need of game time at a club he can settle and Hull didn’t feel like that.
And, according to the Standard, Liverpool have decided that Oxford are the right club. Considering they’re a League One side, that’s a massive risk.
It’s a giant step down and one that young players rarely make back up. That’s not to say that he can’t make it but it’s a long way from the promise of Premier League football, such were things in 2017.
If Liverpool are going this way then it must be for a good reason. Two are obvious.
For starters, Woodburn can surely find a decent place in the side. That can boost confidence significantly, while he’s in dire need of regular football – something he’s never had.
The other reason is the manager, Karl Robinson. Robinson is a former youth coach at Liverpool and has previous for developing talented attacking midfielders.
The Scouser brought Dele Alli through at MK Dons – similar development for Woodburn is exactly what’s needed.
And so Liverpool are taking a big risk with Woodburn but it’s a logical one. But if he can’t make it there, it’s impossible to see a future at Anfield.