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Liverpool FC rising star Ben Woodburn wins first Wales call-up

Chester teenager who became LFC's youngest ever goalscorer named in Wales squad for crucial World Cup qualifier

Ben Woodburn becomes the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool's history(Image: Andrew Teebay)

Chester teenager Ben Woodburn has taken another step forward in his burgeoning career after the Liverpool starlet was named in the senior Wales international squad for the first time.

The 17-year-old former Bishop Heber High School student from Tattenall will be part of Chris Coleman's 23-man squad for the crucial World Cup qualifier against Republic of Ireland in Dublin on March 24.

It is reward for Woodburn's remarkable breakthrough season in which he has become the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool's history.

Who is Ben Woodburn? The Tattenhall teenager who became a Liverpool FC record-breaker

Wales boss Coleman said: "He has done some good things at Liverpool. He has been in our system since he was 13 so while everyone was excited when he burst onto the scene at Liverpool, we knew all about him.

"Every day he is training with international players. Technically he's very good. He is performing with one of the biggest clubs in football. He won't be daunted by coming with us, he is playing with international players every day. It won't be big for Ben.

"He is there on merit. We are looking forward to having him on board."

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn celebrates after writing his name into the club's history books(Image: PA Wire)

Woodburn was born in England but qualifies for Wales through his maternal grandfather and has already played at Under-16, U18 and U19 level for the country.

But, after his record-breaking exploits for Liverpool, there have been suggestions that England want him to swap allegiances.

The dual-qualified Woodburn would not be able to play for England if he made a competitive appearance for the senior Wales side.

'Dream come true': Chester teenager Ben Woodburn makes Liverpool debut

But Coleman has dismissed the notion that was the reason the teenager has been handed a full international call-up.

Coleman, who led Wales to the semi-finals of Euro 2016 last summer, said: "If Ben wanted to go and play for England, there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. None of our players are contracted to Wales.

"But because he burst on the scene for Liverpool, he scored on his debut at Anfield, it makes me laugh. Don’t tell me about this kid, I've known about him for five years.

Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn shoots on goal against Burnley(Image: Colin Lane)

"He has been in our system. We don't have to put him in, it's not the way to do it. He has earned this call-up. I'm not thinking if this is a good game to put Ben Woodburn in, I’m looking at a squad to win the game.

"He has done enough. It's the natural progression, that's how I see it. We weren't getting excited about Ben, we already knew about him. It was other people.

"They are the lifeblood of the nation. We are only going to keep producing young players by improving facilities and improving the coaches that work with young players. It's not a coincidence that these young players are coming through."

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