Sheffield United host West Brom tonight with both clubs boasting two of the most promising players in the UK.
The Blades have Ben Woodburn, while West Brom have Harvey Barnes. However, their careers in the Championship are going very differently.
With that in mind, let’s compare these two loans…
Woodburn burst onto the scene a couple of seasons ago for Liverpool, becoming the club’s youngest ever goalscorer. Fans suddenly thought that he would become the club’s next young star like Michael Owen.
However, the 19-year-old’s progress was curtailed somewhat last season, which culminated in a loan deal at the beginning of this season to Sheffield United.
Unfortunately for the Wales international, his career in the Championship has barely taken off. He is yet to make a start for The Blades in the league this season, let alone score a goal.
This was a loan deal that promised a lot, but so far has delivered nothing.
TT Grade: C
Barnes may not have been the most well known young talent in England when he made the move from Leicester to West Brom in the summer, but he has announced himself to the entire Championship and indeed the country since then.
The 21-year-old has become an integral cog in The Baggies’ scintillating attack this season. He already has eight goals and four assists in the Championship this season, and alongside Jay Rodriguez and Dwight Gayle is part of a lethal trio.
Barnes is now attracting attention from the Premier League, and definitely looks to be one of the players to look out for. The only downside of this loan deal from West Brom is that Barnes has been so good that they may not be able to keep hold of him after January. Then again, they can hardly be blamed for that.
TT Grade: A+
While Sheffield may be marginally ahead of The Baggies in the Championship, Barnes has been substantially better than Woodburn.
Every stat is in favour of the West Brom midfielder, as he continues to light up the league. The very fact that parent club Leicester are rumoured to be re-signing him in January is a testament to how well he has played this season, and what a wonderful signing this was by West Brom.