Rumour rated: Liverpool midfielder could tick plenty of boxes for Portsmouth

Ben Woodburn turning out against Sevilla for Liverpool. Picture: Tim Bradbury/Getty ImagesBen Woodburn turning out against Sevilla for Liverpool. Picture: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
Ben Woodburn turning out against Sevilla for Liverpool. Picture: Tim Bradbury/Getty Images
It's a rumour that's at least perked up supporters during a quiet period of the transfer window.

And it's a name that Pompey fans know a bit about who could tick plenty of boxes.

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The Liverpool midfielder's certainly recognisable. It wasn't all that long ago when his strike against Leeds in November 2016 made him the youngster goalscorer in Anfield history aged 17 and 45 days.

And while Woodburn might not have kicked on how some might have forecast after breaking Michael Owen's previously-held record, he's nowhere near hit zenith yet. and is very much on the up.

Scrutinising his profile, Woodburn's someone that ticks plenty of boxes as Kenny Jackett plots another promotion push.

A charge at the Championship is something the Nottingham-born lad has already been a part of, having spent last term on loan at Oxford.

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He knows the pressures that it takes and how to win games in League One.

Although Woodburn might have been injured for a significant portion of his spell at the Kassam Stadium, he made a sufficient impact.

Woodburn was a regular starter under Karl Robinson before breaking his foot 13 minutes into a 2-2 draw with Accrington on October 5.

In 13 matches prior to his setback, Woodburn had already scored one goal and four assists, which represents a profitable return.

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Most of those outings arrived in a No10 role, which is the ilk of playing that Jackett has on his shopping list.

Fans have often been frustrated why no quintessential attacking midfielder has never been recruited during the Pompey boss' three years in the driving seat.

That would change should Woodburn arrive, though.

In truth, the Wales international didn't make any real impact in Oxford's play-off semi-final victory over the Blues on penalties last month.

There were mitigating circumstances, however, given how long he was sidelined for.

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Such serious injuries require time and a sustainable run of games for players to recapture their rhythm.

Just look a little closer how Sean Raggett started his PO4 career after two ankle setbacks, for example.

Clearly, Ryan Giggs also rates Woodburn as he's regularly selected in the Wales senior squad despite only being 20.

With he's often been left on the bench for Euros qualifiers, he's behind some potent midfielders such as Harry Wilson, Will Vaulks, Daniel James, Jonny Williams and, let's not forget, Gareth Bale in the pecking order.

They're not a bad set of players to have in front of you.

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Perhaps the most crucial of all that might attract Pompey is Woodburn's age.

At 20, he's exempt from the salary cap restrictions that have put a spanner in the works to Pompey's recruitment this summer.

Ipswich are also supposedly keen on Woodburn, while a switch to the Dutch top flight could prove more tempting.

But if there is mileage in the link and Pompey could land Woodburn then it could prove a decent move for both parties.

Rumour rating - 3/5

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