Ben Woodburn: Wales, England set for 'war' over Woodburn, says Roy Evans

Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn was in the Wales Under-16 team that beat England 1-0 in the 2014 Victory Shield match at Bangor

England and Wales are set to have "a little war" over Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn, former Reds boss and Wales assistant Roy Evans says.

The striker became Liverpool's youngest scorer at 17 years and 45 days in their 2-0 win over Leeds United on Tuesday.

Ex-Wales defender Andy Legg says they must cap Woodburn "as soon as possible".

"You've got to jump in there whether you're Chris Coleman or you're Southgate," said Evans.

Roy Evans and John Toshack
Roy Evans (left) was assistant to Wales manager John Toshack from 2004-10

"You've got to jump on these players when they become available and you think they're going to be good enough.

"So it'll be a little war between the two countries, I think, over this young lad because he is full of talent."

Woodburn's goal helped Liverpool reach the EFL Cup semi-finals on Tuesday.

Reds boss Jurgen Klopp hopes to protect the 17-year-old from media hype.

Legg, who played for Cardiff City and Swansea, said Wales fans would "love to see him now get a Welsh shirt on".

Woodburn made his senior debut for the Reds in Saturday's Premier League win over Sunderland.

Three days later, he broke Michael Owen's Liverpool scoring record by 98 days, as the former England striker watched at Anfield.

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Klopp 'afraid' of press coverage of Woodburn

Woodburn, then 16, scored in an impressive display during a pre-season win over Wigan.

He has played for Wales at under-16, under-17 and under-19 level and although still eligible to play for England, Woodburn has said he wants to "replicate" the feats of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

That is a point Legg emphasised, telling BBC Radio Wales: "He could probably see a pathway and is thinking 'hang on a minute, I could be a part of the Aaron Ramseys, the Gareth Bales who came through from years ago'.

"And he could be the next generation as a superstar.

"So he may think that Wales is his best option anyway, and as a youngster he's got to be guided and we just need to get an arm around him and make sure we guide him the right way."

Wales manager Chris Coleman's next chance to cap the Chester-born player is on 24 March, when Wales travel to Dublin to face the Republic of Ireland in a 2018 World Cup qualifier.

England play a friendly against Germany two days earlier.

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