Ben Woodburn returns to Liverpool after disappointing loan spell

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Ben Woodburn has returned to Liverpool following the expiry of his loan deal with Blackpool, with Neil Critchley deciding not to renew his stay at Bloomfield Road.

After talk of a potential switch to the Eredivisie, Woodburn agreed a half-season move to League One back in October, in a bid to revive his young career.

But with a bout of COVID-19 hampering his momentum at Blackpool, the 21-year-old was limited to just 11 appearances for the club, of which only four came as a starter.

Totalling 414 minutes, Woodburn averaged 37.6 on the pitch per outing, and ends his stay with the Lancashire club having failed to record a goal or assist.

He did, however, produce a promising display in his final appearance for Blackpool on Saturday, coming off the bench and drawing a red card from Hull defender Reece Burke to allow his side to fight back for a 1-1 draw.

After that game, Critchley revealed that the club were set to hold discussions over whether to extend the deal with Liverpool, but that has now been confirmed to not be the case.

Blackpool announced on Monday that Woodburn has “now returned to Liverpool following the end of his loan agreement,” with the initial deal only lasting until January 17.

WIGAN, ENGLAND - Tuesday, September 22, 2020: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn during the EFL Trophy Northern Group D match between Wigan Athletic and Liverpool FC Under-21's at the DW Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Woodburn’s return to Kirkby puts his future under more uncertainty, with a disappointing stint at Blackpool not aiding his long-term prospects either at Liverpool or away from the club.

Despite having debuted for the Reds as a 17-year-old in 2016, becoming their youngest-ever scorer soon after, he has since tallied only 46 competitive outings at club level including loans with Sheffield United, Oxford and Blackpool.

Earlier this season he captained the Liverpool under-23s, and could do so again for the short term following Paul Glatzel’s injury and Liam Millar’s loan move to Charlton.

But having failed to make his mark at Blackpool, there is little chance of any opportunities with the Reds, and another loan or, ideally, a permanent exit this month would benefit the midfielder hugely.

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