His first 90 minutes in a Sheffield United shirt may have ended in Carabao Cup disappointment, but Ben Woodburn showed enough against Hull City on Tuesday evening to convince Chris Wilder, Billy Sharp and thousands of Blades fans that he will be a valuable asset for the Blades this season.
Woodburn, the Liverpool loanee and a full Wales international, showed glimpses of his potential on his full debut against Nigel Adkins’ Hull City, and stepped up to coolly convert a penalty in the shootout which United eventually lost 5-4.
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And following promising cameos off the bench against Swansea, Middlesbrough and QPR, Wilder said of Woodburn after the Hull defeat: “I think Ben grew into the game. It’s his first loan and he played a part in our victory at QPR, and he was good against Hull.
“Just like you could see Oli Norwood’s experience and quality, you could see glimpses of Ben that he is going to do well for us.”
Skipper Sharp came off the bench to net United’s equaliser with a stunning volley, and was also full of praise for the youngster.
“He’s got a lot of talent,” Sharp said.
“He’s come on in two difficult away games [at Boro and QPR] and it was nice to get him a full game against Hull to try and get him up to speed.
“He’s a very talented lad and will prove a good signing for us as the season goes on.”