Boss: I'm really happy for Ben and Wales

Jürgen Klopp has labelled Ben Woodburn’s inclusion in Wales’ latest squad as ‘fantastic’ for both the player and his country, with the Liverpool manager safe in the knowledge that the teenager will remain grounded despite his success on the international stage.

Woodburn made a huge impact during the last round of World Cup qualifiers earlier this month, coming off the bench to make telling contributions in two vital victories for Wales.

The 17-year-old scored a brilliant winner against Austria in Cardiff, before then setting up Hal Robson-Kanu’s opener in the 2-0 success over Moldova three days later.

It was, therefore, little surprise when Chris Coleman named Woodburn in his squad for Wales’ upcoming meetings with Georgia and the Republic of Ireland - a decision that has Klopp’s full support.

“It’s fantastic. A lot of things could be not too positive in this situation… Ben is a fantastic boy, outstanding-skilled and very young still. So now you play for Wales and you come back and another boy would misunderstand the situation and it could be a problem, but he is just fantastic,” the Reds boss said on Friday.

“We had a very good, even when it was very short, talk about it. I wanted to explain why the situation is different here but he said ‘no boss, I know’ so all good. 

“He loves playing in the U19 UEFA Youth League, having the role he has there, fighting for this little advantage with boys the same age, playing with the U23s, training with us and he doesn’t expect [too much] in this moment. 

“He takes each minute as a fantastic opportunity to help whichever team, that’s the best ground and the best basis to have a really nice career - what he for sure will have. How we all think, not hope, but think is that this career will be here. 

“He has still a lot of things to learn, but I’m really happy for him and for Wales to have this fantastic opportunity to bring him from the start. Or having him as a sub is really cool, because obviously [he had] a big influence in the last two games - a big, big influence - and hopefully he can do so again.”

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