Ben Woodburn scored his first goals since 2019 with a stunning brace in Hearts’ 5-2 victory over Dundee United, but that was only one of two wins for Liverpool’s loanees.
Throughout a surprising pre-season with the Reds, it looked like Woodburn could even carve out a niche as a utility man for Jurgen Klopp this term.
But with it deemed more beneficial that the 22-year-old head out on another loan for the final year of his contract, it seems that his time on Merseyside is drawing to a close.
He is, then, effectively playing for his future at Hearts, and the versatile youngster has been given the game time to do so in Edinburgh so far.
An ill-disciplined showing in his seventh consecutive start against Dundee FC in October saw him reduced to a substitutes’ role in the following two games, but he was back in the XI for the clash with Dundee United.
Wearing the No. 9 shirt and operating on the wing, Woodburn marked his return to the side with a brilliant double, including an outstanding first-time strike.
— Heart of Midlothian FC (@JamTarts) November 7, 2021
The Welshman played 82 minutes in a strong victory for Hearts, who sit third in the Scottish Premiership having only lost once so far this season – two points off Celtic and six behind leaders Rangers.
Speaking after the game, manager Robbie Neilson predicted that “we’ll see more of [Ben] now,” with goals and assists a vital currency for a player of his ilk.
The only other Liverpool loanee to contribute to victory over the weekend was goalkeeper Jakub Ojrzynski, who kept a clean sheet in Caernarfon Town’s 1-0 win over Cardiff Met.
Ojrzynski had trained with the Reds’ first team the day prior, but was back between the sticks for the Welsh side and impressed again in earning a fifth victory of the Welsh Premier League campaign.
There was considerably less luck for Ojrzynski’s counterpart Vitezslav Jaros, though, with the Czech guilty of a costly error as St Patrick’s Athletic slipped to a 3-0 loss to Sligo Rovers.
With Sligo’s Johnny Kenny firing a header at goal, Jaros was only able to palm it weakly back into his path to allow the striker to convert for 2-0.
“Absolutely no issue and that’s part and parcel of his learning,” St Pat’s manager Alan Mathews told The42.
“He’s 20 years of age and he plays like a fella who has been playing for 20 years with the composure and just his overall game.
“No issue, he’s made more saves than what we’d call tonight maybe, I don’t know, a mistake, a lapse.”
Elsewhere, Leighton Clarkson was an unused substitute for Blackburn’s 3-1 win over Sheffield United, which Ben Davies missed through injury, while Rhys Williams was left out of the Swansea squad entirely for their 4-0 loss to Bournemouth.
Paul Glatzel remained on the bench throughout Tranmere’s 1-0 win over Crawley in the FA Cup first round, with Jake Cain starting in the competition but unable to keep Newport County from a 1-0 defeat to Morecambe.
Anderson Arroyo, a mainstay at centre-back for Spanish second-tier side Mirandes, played the full 90 minutes for the 12th game in a row, but suffered a 3-1 defeat to Real Valladolid.
Liverpool Loan Watch Roundup
- Ben Woodburn (Hearts) – 82 mins vs. Dundee United, two goals
- Sepp van den Berg (Preston) – 90 mins vs. Nottingham Forest
- Jakub Ojrzynski (Caernarfon Town) – 90 mins vs. Cardiff Met, clean sheet
- Anderson Arroyo (Mirandes) – 90 mins vs. Real Valladolid
- Vitezslav Jaros (St Patrick’s Athletic) – 90 mins vs. Sligo Rovers
- Jake Cain (Newport County) – 77 mins vs. Morecambe
- Luis Longstaff (Queen’s Park) – 8 mins vs. East Fife
- Sheyi Ojo (Millwall) – 3 mins vs. Derby
Unused: Clarkson, Williams, Glatzel
Injured: Davies, Lewis