Despite suggestions that Ben Woodburn was likely to move to Aston Villa for the season, widespread reports today from journalists with ties to the club suggest Liverpool’s young attacker will instead join Sheffield United for the coming season.
This is in part said to be due to Villa having not sold Jack Grealish despite strong interest from Tottenham—and Liverpool’s growing concern that should Grealish remain at the club, minutes for Woodburn could be limited, defeating the purpose of the loan.
As a result, the club have signalled that they prefer Sheffield as a loan destination and it appears the player has agreed, taking a side that until now had been second-favourite for Woodburn’s signature and turning them into a near lock.
Club-connected journalists including The Times Paul Joyce, The Mail’s Dominic King, and Goal’s Neil Jones all say it’s Sheffield now—and one imagines that at least barring a sudden sale of Grealish, that’s how things will remain and where Woodburn will go.
Woodburn, now 18, was massively impressive last pre-season but found his chances limited by Liverpool’s early domestic cup departures. While hopes remain high for him at the club, improved depth likely would have made the situation worse this year.
Last season, Sheffield finished 10th in the Championship and will be looking to challenge for the promotion places this season under Chris Wilder, who plays an appealing brand of football. They should make for a good short-term home for Woodburn.