Hearts manager Robbie Neilson says a loan move for Liverpool’s Ben Woodburn is ‘almost done’ as the Reds prepare to take on Burnley at Anfield on Saturday.
Woodburn wrote himself into the Liverpool history books on just his second senior appearance. His goal in the 2-0 League Cup win against Leeds United at Anfield in November 2016 made him the club’s youngest-ever scorer, eclipsing Michael Owen’s record (via BBC Sport).
He’s made nine further appearances for the Reds’ first team and also earned ten Wales caps, though he did miss out on their squad for the European Championships (via Transfermarkt).
Woodburn, who will turn 22 in October, is now set for his fourth loan spell away from Anfield after previous stints at Sheffield United, Oxford United and Blackpool. He’s now into the final 12 months of his contract, and it’s unclear if he’ll remain on Liverpool’s books beyond next summer.
Club legend and former youth team coach Steven Gerrard has showered praise on Woodburn in the past, labelling him an ‘excellent’ player with a ’10 out of 10′ attitude.
Speaking ahead of Hearts’ Scottish Premiership clash with Aberdeen on Sunday, Neilson revealed the transfer is on the verge of completion and expressed his excitement.
“We are still negotiating with Liverpool,” he said. “We are almost done with it, it’s just a case of trying to get things finalised.
“He is still a Liverpool player at the moment and he is one we are really interested in taking here.”
Woodburn will hope to build on an impressive pre-season when he heads to the Scottish capital. Above all, he looked physically stronger than ever before, ready to truly thrive in the men’s game.
It seems unlikely that he’ll forge a career at Liverpool, having been leapfrogged by fellow youngsters like Curtis Jones and Harvey Elliott, but there should be plenty of opportunities available elsewhere.
With the World Cup coming round pretty soon after the Euros – it’s pencilled in for the end of next year – Woodburn’s focus in the short to medium term should be on forcing his way back into Wales contention.
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