Liverpool's rising star 17-year-old Ben Woodburn has today officially been named to the long-list for Europe's most unfortunately-named football award, the Golden Boy. He is unlikely to be considered a serious contender to win it, but it speaks to the perception of Woodburn as one of the Premier League's brightest talents.
Before any Liverpool fans get too excited, though, it has to be pointed out that the 2017 shortlist announced today by a collective made up of a number of Europe's top football outlets runs 98 names deep and includes the likes of Gabriel Jesus, Kylian Mbappe, Renato Sanches, Christian Pulisic, and Ousmane Dembele.
Woodburn, despite his promise, isn't about to beat them out for the award. At least not this season. He does have four more years of eligibility, though, so being named to the list this early on in his career does set him up as a real contender to join Raheem Sterling as Liverpool's second winner somewhere down the road.
The nominee list this year also includes a number of rumoured Liverpool targets, like Athletico left back Theo Hernandez, Ajax striker Kasper Dolberg, Anderlecht's Youri Tielemans, and Gijon's Jorge Meré. Of the players on that list, Dolberg is the most likely to end up a serious contender for this year's honours.
Last year, then-Benfica midfielder Sanches won the award before making the switch to Bayern Munich. The year before that it was Anthony Martial, and before that Raheem Sterling, Paul Pogba, Isco, and Mario Götze. England is represented on the voting panel by The Times.