Ben Woodburn is still determined to make it at Liverpool – and he cited a former Arsenal player as the reason why he won’t give up on his dream.
The winger has dropped off the radar somewhat since writing his name in the record books when he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer aged 17 years and 45 days.
That was nearly three years ago, and after an unproductive loan spell at Sheffield United last season, where he made just eight appearances and scored no goals, Woodburn is now on loan at League One side Oxford United.
His club colleague and fellow Wales international Harry Wilson, meanwhile, was top scorer at Derby County in the Championship last season, and has three goals in the Premier League so far this term after joining Bournemouth on loan.
But Woodburn – two years Wilson’s junior at age 20 – knows time is on his side, and pointed to the example of former Arsenal man Serge Gnabry as an example of why he won’t give up on his goal of reaching the top.
“I think my eyes are always going to be set on playing at Liverpool,” Woodburn told the Daily Mail . “That is my main goal, that is who I grew up supporting and have been for years.
“I feel proud about that goal and becoming Liverpool’s youngest scorer but I don’t want people to just remember me for that moment.
“I had to accept at Liverpool with players like Salah and Sadio Mane, you are likely to be dropping down to the Under 23s. I tried to push on in my own way.
“Last season was tough. I wasn’t playing at Sheffield United but couldn’t complain because they were doing really well and won promotion.
“I have learned so much at Oxford this season, knowing I am able to play 90 minutes and keep fighting for the team.
“Watching someone like Serge Gnabry develop is a big help.
“I saw his four goals for Bayern Munich against Tottenham in the Champions League. When he was 20, he couldn’t get a game on loan at West Brom.
“He has shown you can push through if you keep working hard and hopefully I can do something like he’s done.”