Last season, Ben Woodburn headed to Sheffield United on loan. The expectation was that he would get regular starting minutes in the Championship and take the next step in his development. Instead, he sat on the bench.
He returned to Anfield in January and has looked off the pace so far in pre-season, which is hardly a surprise for a player at his age and stage of development who has gone a year without playing significant competitive football.
Now, he’s joining Oxford United in the hopes of getting things back on track—though that Oxford play in League One is perhaps a minor cause for concern. Still, after a wasted season, the goal clearly to get him playing time.
And on that front at least there should be no concern, as between stepping down a level and having former Liverpool youth coach Karl Robinson as his manager for the season, minutes should be made available to him.
The hope and goal now will be for Woodburn to turn this chance at minutes into a dominant season in League One. If he can manage it, then he just might have done enough to re-establish himself as one of Liverpool’s top prospects.