Leeds will battle Huddersfield, Sunderland and Hannover to sign Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn on loan, according to a report. https://t.co/hi8CVbr4ky— James Marshment (@marshyleeds) December 20, 2017
Young Wales striker Ben Woodburn is the latest player to be linked with a possible move to Leeds United, and given the player’s start to his Liverpool career, it’s not surprising to see him attract some attention in the press. According to the Daily Mail Leeds has competition for the young striker’s signature, with Huddersfield Town, Sunderland, and even Hannover from the Bundesliga allegedly all in the running.
Of course, this is coming from the Mail, and they don’t have the best record when it comes to potential Leeds United transfer rumours this season. Liverpool might want to send Woodburn out on loan, and Leeds might be a possible destination, but the likelihood of this transfer is pretty small.
Woodburn would be an upgrade at striker over Kemar Roofe and Caleb Ekuban, but with Leeds already having an expensive loan striker in Hamburger SV’s Pierre-Michel Lasogga in the lineup, it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Leeds to seek out another loan for a player in the same position. Thomas Christiansen hasn’t varied at all from the 4-2-3-1 system and seems loathe to play more than one striker at a time in the line-up. Woodburn has played out wide in the past, but if he’s going on loan, it will be to get experience at striker. Unless Lasogga’s loan deal is cancelled, which might happen, given the player’s absence for over a month, bringing in another striker on loan doesn’t necessarily seem like something that Leeds would be interested in doing.
The other reason the link to Leeds seems dubious is the relationship that Chris Coleman has with Woodburn, given that Sunderland manager brought Woodburn into the Wales senior team at such a young age. While a previous relationship is not a guarantee of a loan move, it’s a much stronger link than what exists at Leeds. Sunderland need goals, their manager has worked with Woodburn before, so while Leeds might get mentioned as a possible destination, in no way should Leeds be considered favorites to land the young striker.
So while Woodburn could be going out on loan, I’ll personally be very surprised to see him end up on loan at Leeds, or anywhere else other than Sunderland. I’d put say rumour has about a 15% chance of coming true.