Woodburn can become a great, says Wales manager

03 Sep, 2017 8:32 pm

LONDON (Reuters) – Wales may have unearthed another exciting prospect after teenager Ben Woodburn came off the bench to score his country’s winner in a World Cup qualifier against Austria.

The Liverpool youngster’s incredible introduction to international football produced rave reviews on Sunday, with manager Chris Coleman leading the praise.

“I know his strike was fantastic but his all-round composure was great too,” Coleman said. “He has all the attributes to go on to be a great player.”

The 17-year-old had only been on the pitch five minutes when he fired home from distance to keep Welsh hopes of qualifying for next year’s finals alive.

With three games left Wales are third in Group D, four points behind leaders Serbia and two behind Ireland.

Wales have provided some of the greats of British football down the years, with Mark Hughes, Ryan Giggs and Gareth Bale all doing sterling service for their country.

All-time top scorer Ian Rush was also encouraged to see Woodburn, who has made only a handful of appearances for Liverpool’s first team, make an instant impact.

“I’ve been working with Ben since he was 14 years old and he has an amazing attitude, he keeps his feet on the ground,” Rush told the BBC.

“Playing with the likes of (Arsenal midfielder) Aaron Ramsey and Gareth Bale I think he is now realising what the world is all about.”

“He probably won’t start on Tuesday (against Moldova) but if he comes on he will do a job,” added Rush.

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