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Ben Woodburn, Liverpool's youngest ever goal scorer, called up by Wales

Woodburn celeb vs Leeds 161129
Ben Woodburn surpassed Michael Owen as Liverpool's youngest ever goal scorer .

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn has been called up to the Wales senior side for the first time, the Welsh FA have announced.

Woodburn, 17, has been included in Chris Coleman's 23-man squad for the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on March 24.

"He's done some good things at Liverpool," Coleman told a news conference on Thursday morning. "He's been in our system since he was 13.

"Once everybody was getting excited when he burst onto the scene at Liverpool six months ago or a bit before that, people start saying: 'You need to take a look at Ben Woodburn.'

"We've been looking at Ben Woodburn since he was 13. He's been in our system in five years. We know all about him. He's done well this season. He's there on merit and we're looking forward to having him on board with us."

Liverpool's youngest ever goal scorer was born in Chester, near the English-Welsh border, meaning he could represent England at international level.

However, due to having a maternal grandfather born in Wales, the teenager has represented Wales at under-16, U18 and U19 levels.

Coleman insists that Woodburn's call-up is entirely down to footballing reasons as opposed beating other nations to his international commitment.

"If he doesn't start and I feel I need to make a change and he needs to come on for tactical reasons then that's what will happen," the Welsh manager added.

"But it's not going to be because I'm worried about anybody else looking at Ben. We see Ben as an international player for Wales. He has been since he was a young boy and we expect him to be going forward. We think he's got a good future.

"There won't be any knee-jerk reaction to cap him."

Woodburn, who has been at Liverpool since he was an U7s player, secured his place in the Anfield history books when he became the youngest person to ever score for Liverpool in November with his strike against Leeds United in the EFL Cup tie.

Woodburn clocked in at 17 years of age and 45 days, beating Michael Owen's 19-year record by 98 days.

The forward has made seven first-team appearances in total, but has yet to start in the Premier League.

Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.


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