In 2020, Sheffield United paid £ 23million for the signing of Rhian Brewster, and although the England youth striker has yet to live up to that award, he could still have a very good career behind him.
Still, getting that sort of number for a player who was far from being an Anfield regular was a great deal, and even more so in hindsight.
In order for Brewster to be worth that kind of sum in the eyes of Liverpool and Sheffield United, however, he had to impress during his loan spell at Swansea.
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Joining them in January 2020, Brewster scored 10 goals in 20 games for the Championship team, which sparked interest higher up the pyramid.
As discussed in a special Academy Show podcast exclusively for Blood Red Club members, a similar transfer ploy could be at play with Ben Woodburn this summer – as indeed with Ben Davies.
Like Woodburn, selling Davies now would mean that a limited profit could be made.
Loaning the pair for the coming season could inflate their value – or at least it would stay the same – which would mean a possible windfall to be reaped next summer.
Davies, for example, was considered by some to be a ‘£ 20million player’ with former Liverpool striker and regular Championship spectator Neil Mellor among those pundits singing his praises in January.
While it would be difficult for Davies to secure minutes this season ahead of Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Ibrahima Konate and Joel Matip, he could have a good season with Sheffield United which would increase his value.
With his contract set to expire next summer, Woodburn will not see his price rocket, but a few good performances in Scotland might be enough to earn him a last chance and a new contract at Liverpool and increase his value in the process.
The Welshman is unlikely to have a long-term future at Anfield – and the same can be said of Davies, despite the fact that he has yet to play a minute of competitive action – but Liverpool can still benefit from their academy product.
By lending rather than selling, Liverpool will likely only benefit, the risk of their values falling extremely slim.
They won’t get another £ 23million deal for Davies or Woodburn, but they will almost certainly get more next summer than they will now.