Chris Coleman has left his job at Wales and moved to crisis club Sunderland—and first on his wishlist are two Reds he has worked with closely.
There are still six weeks until the transfer window officially opens, but clubs will be preparing for the winter window by considering names who could boost them in the second half of the season.
While for Liverpool that might mean fans hoping for the arrival of a new first-choice centre-back, it’s more probable that temporary exits might be arranged for those not in the frame for regular first-team minutes.
The Sunderland Echo report that Coleman has made the duo priority additions, having worked closely with them on the international stage.
Ward has barely featured this season, with just one EFL Cup appearance to his name so far despite impressing enormously at Huddersfield last term.
Woodburn, meanwhile, has made just one sub appearance—in the same game against Leicester—but made a big impact for Wales’ senior side under Coleman in World Cup qualifying.
As always there’s a balance to be struck between maintaining squad depth and allowing younger players to get minutes to continue their development, but it would seem at least one of those two need first-team action.
Ward is now 24 and has already proven he’s more than good enough to be a first-choice stopper; if he’s not to be handed minutes for the Reds, he must be allowed to go on playing elsewhere.
Woodburn, only just 18 and having recently signed a new long-term deal, is not quite in the same boat; while Championship football on a regular basis might be a good thing, so too is playing in the UEFA Youth League where he has captained Steven Gerrard’s U-19 side.
The next month or so, and whether either player gets game time for the Reds in a busy spell of matches, could dictate their short-term future in the new year.