Hearts have been struggling in front of goal recently. Could hijacking an EFL move for Liverpool kid Ben Woodburn provide a solution to Hearts’ goal problems?
The Daily Mail have reported that Oxford United are set to seal a shock loan move for the attacking midfielder. He was last on loan at Sheffield United in the Championship, but it seems like the Reds are ready to let him drop down a level.
Craig Levein wouldn’t be going far wrong by enquiring about the Welshman’s availability.
Woodburn has potential
Finances in this deal wouldn’t be too much of an issue. A 2018 report from Global Sports Salaries showed that Hearts players make an average of £111,600 a year, or £2,146 a week.
According to a report from Footy.com in the 2017/18 season, Oxford players earn £134,576 a year, or £2,588 a week. There is a wage difference, but it’s not massive. You’d like to think the Jambos could match or get near any offer Oxford table.
Hearts will no doubt have some Liverpool contacts too, having recently played a Reds U23 squad at Tynecastle.
Woodburn himself would be a good addition. He became Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer just three days after his debut in the 2016/17 season. His future looked bright and he finished his debut senior season with nine first-team appearances.
It hasn’t quite happened for him recently though. During the 2017/18 campaign he made just two appearances and last season he was loaned to Sheffield United.
He has great passing ability in the number 10 role. He also doesn’t mind a pop at goal from range. His international debut for Wales springs to mind. The 19-year-old came off the bench against Austria and scored the winner via a 25 yard screamer.
Hearts’ striker department would benefit from his arrival
Hearts’ strikers have struggled to net goals in the League Cup group stages. The club’s top scorer is defender Craig Halkett and their striker options missed countless chances against lower league opposition.
Not only would the Liverpool youngster add a goal threat, he could provide more service to the forward line. Across the city, Hibs forward Florian Kamberi is benefitting from the services of Scott Allan, who plays the same role as Woodburn.
If the Welshman could go on to do what Allan’s doing at Hibs for Hearts, he could help get the best out of Levein’s striker options.
He’s successfully passed the ball 75% of the time in his last five matches according to WhoScored, showing he’s pretty accurate at finding his man. Woodburn would create plenty of chances in Gorgie.
This move would be beneficial for everyone. Liverpool get a young player developed, Woodburn gets minutes and Hearts get a much needed attacking force.
Levein really should enquire about whether a deal for Woodburn would be feasible.