Who is Ben Woodburn?

Born in Cheshire, northwestern England to an English father and Welsh mother, 17-year-old Ben Woodburn is regarded as one of the best teenage footballers in British football.

He is a member of Liverpool’s first team having gone through the ranks at the club since joining the at Under-7s level just before his 8th birthday.

Former Liverpool academy director, Frank McParland, identified Woodburn as ‘one of the brightest prospects at the club’ and when his parents requested that he came from home due to academic commitments, Liverpool promptly arranged for a driver to transport him to and fro his house everyday.

Such was his talent that in 2015, Woodburn being 15 at the time, he was promoted to the club’s under-18 squad and included in Liverpool’s ‘Future Group’ programme.

In 2016, while preparing for his first preseason preparation with Liverpool, Jurgen Klopp picked Ben Woodburn as part of his preseason squad along with fellow academy prospects, Kevin Stewart and Trent Alexander-Arnold.

The young English youth player registered a goal and an assist in just over 100 minutes of football and as a reward, he was handed his first professional contract on November 8, 2016.

On the 26th of November 2016, Ben Woodburn came in for Georginio Wijlnadum in the 92nd minute of Liverpool’s 2-0 victory over Sunderland, effectively making him the Kop’s third youngest ever player in their history and their second youngest in the Premier league at 17 years and 42 days.

Three days later, he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer after coming off the bench to score against Leeds United while being 98 days younger than Micheal Owen as at his first Liverpool goal.

He became the third youngest player, just behind Owen and Jordan Ibe, to start for Liverpool in the Premier league when he started against Stoke City on April 4. A week later, Ben Woodburn was nominated for the European golden boy award.

He was named Liverpool’s Academy player of the year after a fantastic season which included standout performances in Premier League 2 and cameo appearances for the first team.

Woodburn got his first Wales call up on 27 March 2017 for the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland and although he was an unused substitute in Dublin, it was a massive experience for the young lad and he couldn’t wait to don the colours of his maternal grandfather’s country.

The opportunity came on the 3rd of September 2017 when he replaced Derby County’s Tom Lawrence in Wales’ World Cup qualifier against Austria with the game locked at 0-0. Woodburn scored a 25-yard strike to mark his international debut in great fashion and to ensure that Wales not only got maximum 3 points but also to make him his country’s second youngest international goalscorer behind Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.

Ben Woodburn has not featured for Liverpool this season but with the quality he is showing, it might just be a matter of time before he becomes a household name in the Premier league.