Liverpool are expected to cut short Ben Woodburn’s loan spell with Sheffield United in view of providing him with more regular football.
The Welshman has clocked just 155 minutes across seven Championship appearances for the Blades so far this season, missing out in 11 games along the way.
He has been omitted from the match day squad altogether on seven occasions and has played just 23 first team minutes since September 1. His only full 90 minutes for the club arrived back in August when he featured in United’s League Cup penalty shootout defeat to Hull City.
Though manager Chris Wilder made his intentions to ease Woodburn into his side clear back in the summer, the lack of progress has seen a January return emerge as a logical option.
It now looks ‘certain’ that Liverpool will recall the 19-year-old come the turn of the year, reports the Liverpool Echo’s James Pearce.
Woodburn impressed on Sunday as he helped Liverpool’s U23s to a 1-0 win in the mini-derby against Premier League 2 leaders Everton.
It marked his second appearance for Neil Critchley’s side this season, with his loan deal granting him the freedom to play for his parent club’s youth team if not called upon by Sheffield United.
There need be few concerns over his lack of playing time this season in light of it being his first real taste of a regular senior routine.
His physical development has always been a major aspect to his development and a potentially defining factor in the speed at which he would begin to make his mark at first team level.
An outing with the U23s proved a timely reminder of his largely superior technical ability on the youth stage and the senior credentials this gives him.
The talent is most certainly there. It just remains a case of being patient.