19-year-old Welsh attacking midfielder Ben Woodburn moved on loan to Sheffield United in the summer, but has so far struggled to make much of an impact with the Championship leaders.
Woodburn is yet to register a goal or assist in six league appearances for The Blades, but remains highly rated.
Speaking to the excellent Liverpool Echo Blood Red podcast, James Shield, a journalist who follows United for the Sheffield Star, said: “I wouldn’t say he’s struggling – that would be far too basic. There was an awful lot of excitement about his signing, and quite rightly so.
“The most disappointing thing from Ben’s point of view would be that he’s finding first-team opportunities in short supply at the moment. In the last couple of weeks, he has not even made the matchday squad.
“We have to take another few factors into consideration. One is the superb performances of another player, Mark Duffy. The other thing is that this is his first loan; his first real time away from Anfield.
“This is the first time he’s been viewed as a potential first-team starter week in, week out, where you’ve got to actually go out and win a jersey on a day-by-day basis.
“He still very highly thought of. He’s not out in the cold. They’re still very excited to have him.”
He might have struggled so far, but there seems to be a feeling that it might not last – we certainly hope so. Woodburn certainly has a lot of talent.