Wales manager Chris Coleman was kind enough to speak to me about up-and-coming Liverpool talent Ben Woodburn. He was full of praise for the youngster, and stated that the forward was “on the cusp” of making a senior appearance for the national side. Woodburn has represented Wales at under-15, under-16, under-17 and under-19 levels already.
Coleman praised the energy that Woodburn brings to teams. He said that enthusiasm and liveliness in games and particularly in training can have a boost on the whole squad, and that he was hopeful Woodburn could have this kind of impact on his introduction to the senior side. He also joked that he was fed up of people pointing Woodburn out to him! He revealed that Wales have had high hopes for him for a long time, and have been keeping close tabs on him for the best part of five years. Although he was born to English parents, Woodburn has opted to play in the Wales youth sides up to this point; Coleman has said in the past that he has privately committed to Wales going forward. This is perhaps why we have not seen the Liverpool starlet burst on to the international scene already – fellow academy prospect Harry Wilson was capped for Wales aged just 16 amidst concerns that he might switch allegiances.
A full international cap would be no more than Woodburn deserves. The seventeen-year-old has come on leaps and bounds in the last year alone, rocketing through Liverpool’s under-23s and into the first team picture with remarkable speed. He is primarily a striker, but has already also featured out wide and in a deeper role under Klopp. Here’s hoping he can fulfil his potential and attain success for both club and country.