Ben Woodburn’s high wage demands look likely to put paid to him joining Scottish club Hearts from Liverpool on a permanent basis.
The 22-year-old is currently on-loan from at the Edinburgh outfit. According to Edinburgh News though, Hearts manager Robbie Neilson is keen to retain Woodburn for next season.
Unfortunately for him, the Liverpool man’s earnings would be prohibitive in making this happen. Woodburn’s salary is described as being ‘vast’ and would therefore be ‘a huge barrier’ to Hearts keeping him on.
No transfer fee would need to be negotiated with Liverpool, as Woodburn will be a free agent this summer.
Promising much, delivering little
Woodburn’s story at Liverpool is a disappointing one. There was so much expected of the young man after he became the club’s youngest ever goal scorer aged just 17 years and 45 days old. Jurgen Klopp was clearly a fan of him, labelling him as ‘outstanding’ via Sky Sports back in 2019.
Unfortunately, that goal against Leeds United at the Kop end has proven to be the highlight of his career so far.
Since then he has had unproductive loan spells at Sheffield United, Blackpool and Oxford United. He moved North of the border to Hearts last summer.
For Hearts he has featured more regularly than in his other stints away from Liverpool. He has played 26 times for them in all competitions, scoring three goals.
However, game time has dried up over the second half of the season. Woodburn was an unused substitute in Hearts’ biggest game of the season so far last weekend as they reached the Scottish Cup final.
Premier League clubs advantage
What Woodburn’s current situation does highlight well is the gap in wages clubs in Scotland and England can offer.
That Hearts are balking at offering a first-team player what are considered more-or-less academy level wages in England is illustrative.
Of course, this gives Premier League clubs a big advantage when trying to lure the best young talent away from Scotland.
It’s a shame for Woodburn that he may be pricing himself out of a move that could get his career back on track. Whether it’s at Hearts or elsewhere, hopefully upon leaving Liverpool he can finally realise his potential.