We knew that up and coming Liverpool attacker Ben Woodburn was going to be something special, but as the 17-year old announced himself on the international stage last night by smacking a beautiful long-range strike as Wales edged past Austria in a World Cup Qualifier, now everyone else knows too.
“He has all the attributes to go on to be a great player,” said Dragons boss Chris Coleman, speaking to the BBC following the final whistle. “It is one of those nights to remember,” enthused the former Fulham boss. “It was a great way to win the game. Ben is young but we have seen enough. This is not a player we have just discovered, we have had him for some years in our system,” said Coleman. “He still has a lot to do. But we have seen in our experience he is capable at our level to make a difference.”
Video courtesy of @MrBoywunder
While the focal point of the Welsh attack remains Real Madrid forward Gareth Bale, Woodburn, who also scored on his Liverpool debut, is now a real option for Coleman despite his tender age. Although he’s unlikely to feature regularly this season, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has shown a willingness to give the youngster a chance and considering the deluge of matches just over the horizon, his name should start popping up with increasing regularity.
“I’ve been working with Ben since he was 14 years old and he has an amazing attitude, he keeps his feet on the ground,” explained Liverpool legend Ian Rush, full of praise for his compatriot. “Jurgen Klopp has been absolutely fantastic with him (telling him) ‘not too much too soon’, ‘be patient and your time will come and then you have to take your chance’,” continued the Welshman. “He has taken his chance but he has to be patient again because things don’t happen overnight and he must realise he probably won’t start on Tuesday (against Moldova) but if he comes on he will do a job.”