Liverpool starlet Ben Woodburn joined League One outfit Oxford United on loan this summer. The move represents a good chance for the 19-year-old winger to get back on track.
Woodburn exploded onto the scene in 2016, when he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer. The attacker netted for the Reds as a 17-year-old in a League Cup clash with Leeds United.
By the end of the 2016/17 campaign, the Welsh teenager had made nine first team appearances for the Merseyside club in all competitions, including five Premier League outings. Since then though, he has only appeared twice more for the Anfield club’s senior side and his development has plateaued.
A loan stint with Sheffield United last season failed to get the 10-cap Wales international back to his best. Klopp, who is a fan of the youngster, will be hoping for better from Woodburn with Oxford this time around. However, Woodburn missed a glaring opportunity to open his account for his new club against Peterborough United on Saturday.
Oxford United attacker Cameron Brannagan has come to Woodburn’s defence though. As quoted by Wales Online, Brannagan said, “I told him ‘this is serious, those chances have got to go in the net’. Ben knows that…he was gutted. I just said ‘the next one you’ve got to put away’…I’m looking after him and he’s a top kid”.
Brannagan himself is a former Liverpool academy player, so he knows the challenge Woodburn faces. He could prove a valuable guide for the on-loan youngster this season.
Woodburn needs to impress this season. Liverpool are taking great strides forward as a club and squad and the bar is being raised by Klopp’s side every year. If Woodburn can’t keep up then he’ll be left behind.
The Welshman is a huge talent, he just needs to give everything he has to stand the best chance of reaching his full potential.