By Scott Taylor
Ben Woodburn became the youngest ever goalscorer for Liverpool as his goal helped the Reds to a 2-0 victory at home to Leeds in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Tuesday evening. Woodburn, aged just 17 days and 45 days, broke a 19-year record previously held by Michael Owen with recent Academy graduates Jordan Rossiter and Raheem Sterling in the top 5 youngest scorers. The Wales youth international has attracted interest from England after his maiden goal for Jurgen Klopp’s side, but who is the latest youngster to break through into the first team.
Woodburn joined the Reds academy at the age of 6, making his way through to the U18s and U23s before making his Premier League debut in the 2-0 win against Sunderland on Saturday.
Born in Chesire, the winger burst onto the scene as a 15-year-old at the start of the 2015/16 season, when the youngster was given valuable game time by Head Coach Neil Critchley.
Woodburn was part of a trio of forward players in the U18s alongside Yan Dhanda and Toni Gomes, with the latter making the step up to the U23s whilst Dhanda regularly plays U18s football.
Between them, they helped the Reds netted over 45 goals last season in the U18 Premier League, with Woodburn contributing the same number of goals as joint top-scorer Gomes.
He made the step up to Michael Beale’s U23s at the start of the season, making 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring six goals, with only Danny Ings, Brooks Lennon and Harry Wilson finding the net on more occasions.
Woodburn also represents Wales at youth level, captaining the Under 17s before making the step up to the Under 19s in recent months.
The winger is in a two-way battle between England and Wales for his allegiance, but Woodburn scored for Wales against England in the recent U19 European Qualifiers, days after scoring twice and making two assists in a win at Luxembourg.
Woodburn will more than likely return to the U23s after a memorable week in the youngsters life. However, with Phillipe Coutinho out for six weeks and Sadio Mane off to the African Cup of Nations in the coming weeks, Woodburn may be given another chance in the future.
Featured Image courtesy of Wales Online, a full set can be viewed at http://www.walesonline.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/liverpool-fc-rave-ben-woodburn-11619046