Published: Wed, September 06, 2017
Sports | By Grace Becker

Wales' match victor Woodburn 'can be great'

Wales' match victor Woodburn 'can be great'

Wales' striker Ben Woodburn challenges Austria's midfielder Marko Arnautovic during the FIFA World Cup 2018 qualification worldwide football match between Wales and Austria in Cardiff, south Wales, on September 2, 2017.

Woodburn marked his dream debut for the Welsh national team by scoring the victor in the 1-0 victory over Austria recently and King has revealed how the squad gave the 17-year-old the confidence to flourish during his bow for the Dragons. "I put him on because I thought he had a lot to offer, because I've seen a lot of him, and thankfully it worked out".

"I know England were after him for a couple of years, he could have played for England but he is so passionate about being Welsh", added Rush.

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Upon making his senior team debut for the Reds last November against Sunderland, the Liverpool Academy graduate became the club's third youngest player in history to do so.

"If I thought he was going to be out of his depth I wouldn't put him through that". In describing Woodburn's playing strengths, Coleman cited his skill, speed and his balance. Just as important for the coach, though, is Woodburn's mentality. Woodburn, it hardly needs explaining, did the same.

"I would never take a gamble on a young player. You can not pick all of them at younger ages", Southgate said.

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We're a couple of days removed from Ben Woodburn announcing himself to worldwide in stunning fashion, but people have picked up on something weird about the goal the Liverpool youngster served up against Austria on Saturday.

Woodburn was born in Nottingham, but qualified for Wales via a grandfather. Coleman cited Wilson, Lee Evans, now starring for Wigan in League One, and Sheffield United's David Brooks as other young talents pushing for senior recognition.

Already Liverpool's youngest scorer, Woodburn - who turns 18 next month - has joined a national set-up littered with players who were given their chance early by Wales. "For these new boys coming through, that's the pathway".

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