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Ben Woodburn could be one of Chris Coleman’s first signings for Sunderland; but is he any good?

Ben Woodburn continues to be linked with a loan move to Sunderland. Indeed, some will tell you the deal is already done. But is the Liverpool youngster what the struggling Black Cats need right now?

Liverpool Training Session Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn has been linked with a loan move to Sunderland since the moment Chris Coleman walked through the doors at the Stadium of Light.

Leeds United are the other side regularly credited with an interest in taking the 18-year-old until the end of the season, but the fact Coleman handed the young winger his international debut in September may give the Black Cats the edge.

Indeed, some will tell you that a deal for the Chester-born attacking player to join Sunderland has already been done. But it remains unclear how valid those claims are just yet.

Wales v Panama - International Friendly
Ben Woodburn playing for Wales in November
Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images

Certainly when asked about his plans for January, Coleman hinted that a loan deal for someone may be close to concluding, though he insisted the signing is not likely to happen within the next few days:

Nothing is imminent. We thought there was but it has slowed down a bit, not because of us.

No names were mentioned of course but it may be Woodburn the Black Cats boss was talking about and Jurgen Klopp has already hinted he is willing to allow the Liverpool academy lad to go out on loan this season.

Reports over the course of the weekend suggested the Anfield club will seek assurances from interested parties that Woodburn will get plenty of game time, so perhaps that’s a late stumbling block just now.

Wales Training Session
Woodburn works out in front of Chris Coleman and his staff ahead of a Wales World Cup Qualifier
Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

But is the right-footed youngster actually any good, and is he ready to step into the melting pot of a Championship relegation fight? We collared Jack Lusby from Liverpool site This Is Anfield to give us a quick introduction:

Ben Woodburn hasn't played a lot of football this season - only 44 minutes for the first team and just 13 appearances at academy level - and he definitely needs to go out on loan in order to do so.

His lack of opportunities in the first half of 2017/18 do his ability a disservice, as he is already capable of performing at first-team level; and joining a Championship side like Sunderland would be great for both parties, provided he's guaranteed a regular starting role.

For those not familiar with his style of play, he's a versatile young player capable of operating across the front line, but in my opinion he's at his best in an advanced creative role in midfield: he has great composure, a fine passing range and real tenacity off the ball—and though he's only 18, he's already really tactically flexible.

Personally, I'd have slight reservations at him joining a side battling relegation, but Chris Coleman's clearly familiar with his talents and should get the best out of him.

The 18-year-old has turned out across Liverpool’s front-line in Premier League 2 and the UEFA Youth League this season, featuring at right wing, out wide on the left and as a secondary-striker.

For a Sunderland side struggling to find any consistency from those operating in an attacking role in support of the striker, that versatility would be a bonus and Woodburn could offer the struggling Black Cats an additional dimension.

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