A year ago, Ben Woodburn was dealt a cruel blow when he suffered a fractured foot while on loan with Oxford United last season.
It limited the 21-year-old to just 16 appearances during the 2019/20 campaign, which saw him clock up one goal and five assists prior to the injury setback.
He returned to Liverpool in July and was a regular feature for Barry Lewtas and the under-23 team, before he was sent out on loan with former academy coach and Blackpool manager Neil Critchley.
It represented a good opportunity for him, which he has not yet fully grasped.
Lack of action when it matters
There was a lot of promise that Woodburn would do well at Blackpool given how highly Critchley rated the Liverpool loanee during their time together on Merseyside.
Woodburn made history when he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer back in November 2016.
The Welshman netted in the League Cup against Leeds United aged just 17 years and 45 days old in a team that also saw Trent Alexander-Arnold handed his Liverpool debut.
His record in League One is not so eye-catching. In fact, it is pretty disappointing by comparison.
Woodburn has played up just 198 minutes of league action for Blackpool out of a possible 720 as per Transfermarkt.
He has started only two games, and has featured twice as a substitute.
It should be noted that Woodburn was forced to miss two weeks of participation as a result of testing positive for COVID-19.
The most recent of those came over a week ago when Woodburn played nine minutes off the bench during a 3-2 defeat with Doncaster.
Woodburn has one shot and touched the ball 15 times but did little of note. He will likely be back on the bench the following week. His last start came on October 24.
Blackpool currently 15th in the League One standings, with five wins, one draw and seven defeats.
Really they are crying out for a game changer, a player who can turn these poor results into wins. Woodburn should strive to be that player.
More time needed for Woodburn
This loan looked like it could be a good opportunity for Woodburn. Harry Wilson, Harvey Elliott and Sheyi Ojo are among other Liverpool stars benefitting from a move down the football pyramid.
If Woodburn were to return to Liverpool now, he would be no further forward in his quest for first team action.
He needs to win Blackpool over before he can have realistic ambitions of kicking on at Liverpool.
There is a lot of football still to be played. Blackpool have only played 13 matches of a 46-game domestic season – not including the play-offs.
We all want Liverpool to do well. But it would be wrong to say his loan is going to plan at this stage. Let’s hope he can turn it around.
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