LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Monday, August 9, 2021: Liverpool's Ben Woodburn during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and Club Atlético Osasuna at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ben Woodburn seals Championship move with 11-word farewell to Liverpool

Ben Woodburn has left Liverpool after 16 years, with the young midfielder landing a move to the Championship just days after this contract officially expired.

It was an emotional moment as Woodburn was announced as one of seven players to be leaving Liverpool at the end of their contracts this summer.

The Welshman remains the club’s youngest-ever goalscorer after netting against Leeds in the League Cup in 2016, but saw his first-team chances diminish over the years.

Loan spells with Sheffield United, Oxford United, Blackpool and Hearts brought mixed reviews, with injury problems blighting his time with Oxford in particular.

But Woodburn has now been given a chance to settle in a new permanent home, three days after this terms with Liverpool ran out.

Following a brief trial that saw him score in a pre-season friendly against Bamber Bridge, the 22-year-old has joined Championship outfit Preston on a free transfer.

Preston offered Woodburn a one-year deal with the option of a further 12 months, with manager Ryan Lowe finally clinching the signing he had pursued a number of times during his career in charge of Bury, Plymouth and Preston.

And the versatile youngster marked the end of his Liverpool tenure with an 11-word farewell on social media:

“Sixteen years at this amazing club!” he wrote. “Thank you for everything Liverpool.”

Woodburn was congratulated by the likes of Jordan Henderson, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Nat Phillips, Tyler Morton and ex-Reds such as Cameron Brannagan, Liam Coyle, Corey Whelan and Anthony Glennon.

It is clearly a bittersweet moment for the player, who came through the ranks at Kirkby from under-7s level, but it is also an exciting move to join Preston.

“[I’ve had] lots of ups and downs, a few loans, but now I’m excited to really get settled in Preston, work as a team and try and work our way up the league,” he told the club’s official website.

“I want to feel part of a team and want to feel part of a vision really, and I feel like the vision here is great and it’s one that I want to achieve too.

“I feel like there’s a great group of players, great staff, a great manager and I’m just excited to see what we can do.”

Preston, who also signed veteran winger Robbie Brady on a free transfer on Monday, are next in action with another friendly against Spanish side Getafe in a week’s time.