Oxford United manager Karl Robinson believes that Ben Woodburn’s loan spell at Sheffield United came too soon in his career.
The Welshman is now enjoying a spell with the U’s but struggled last season during his time at Bramall Lane.
Woodburn arrived at Bramall Lane in the summer of 2018 on loan from Liverpool and there was plenty of excitement about his arrival in South Yorkshire.
After all, this was a player who had burst onto the scene at Anfield and became their youngest ever goalscorer when he netted against Leeds United in a League Cup tie (liverpoolfc.com).
However, it would be fair to say that the Welsh international didn’t live up to expectations whilst with the Blades, making just seven league appearances and only one of those was a start (Transfermarkt).
It was a tough period for Woodburn and his spell at Bramall Lane was cut short when the Blades and Liverpool agreed to cancel his loan midway through the season (Yorkshire Post).
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He is now on loan at Oxford United and his manager Robinson believes that his move to the Championship last year came too early in his career.
“He came to us on a real low this summer, after a difficult loan last year,” Robinson said (via WalesOnline).
“I think that loan he went on was too soon. I think people forget how young he is. The Championship is so unforgiving it’s incredible.
“The style of play at that level is a little bit different to the Premier League, it’s more forceful in the way you get the ball through the thirds, certainly more aggressive out of possession.”
Robinson is probably right when he suggests that Woodburn’s spell in the Championship came too soon for him.
Whilst he remains a promising young talent, he struggled to force his way into Chris Wilder’s plans last season and barely played during his time at Bramall Lane.
When he signed for Sheffield United, he was still only 18-years-old and hadn’t really played much first team football in his career. The Championship is an unforgiving league and he struggled to adapt, hence why he wasn’t played much.
This year he has dropped down to League One to play for Oxford, which is proving much more beneficial for his development.
He has made 11 appearances already, scoring one goal and providing four assists (Transfermarkt) and, although he is currently injured, he seems to be enjoying a more productive loan this year.
Sheffield United fans, how disappointed were you with Ben Woodburn’s loan spell at Bramall Lane? Let us know in the comments below…
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