It’s pretty clear that the Ben Woodburn hype train is not likely to stop anytime soon. The 17-year-old (18 in October!) made his mark internationally over the last week, playing phenomenally for Wales and scoring the winner in one of two games. Liverpool have now indicated that they would like to keep Woodburn around for the foreseeable future and will be offering him a 5-year deal to remain with the club.
And if you thought you couldn’t stop gushing about Woodburn, don’t worry: you’re in good company.
“I heard someone [call him] ‘The Prince of Wales’ - I love it!” Klopp told the club’s official website today. “I said it twice this morning… I’m not sure that he loves it too much!”
Which is fair. Woodburn seems like a nice, hard-working lad who presumably wouldn’t want to be associated with people who haven’t really done anything to earn their accolades. If the games against Austria and Moldova are anything to go by, in fact, Woodburn is incredibly keen to prove just how much he deserves the praise heaped on him.
“It was fantastic,” Klopp added about Woodburn’s recent performances. “We all know, and maybe we know Ben best, and he did brilliantly for us already. It was a hard start in pre-season, it was not too easy and he couldn’t perform as he did before.
“But in the last two or three weeks he was really in a good way. I saw the games and he had a big impact; that’s really rare for a 17-year-old boy, so it’s a really nice story.”
Woodburn’s development is still top priority for Klopp, of course, who is adamant that the player will not fade away like so many before him.
“We will do the right thing; he will play youth, he will play U23s, he will play first-team football. Our target is that we have him in the first team because we like him, we see his quality and that’s the main thing. But for us it’s not too important if it’s tomorrow or in a year, it’s just important that we can use him then. That’s what we try to prepare.”