Ben Woodburn: Who is Liverpool's teenage record-breaker?

Ben Woodburn and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp
Jurgen Klopp prepares to send on Ben Woodburn against Leeds United

After Ben Woodburn's historic late goal as Liverpool beat Leeds United to reach the EFL Cup semi-finals, the football world is wondering who the rising star is.

There is even talk of "a little war" between Wales and England for the 17-year-old.

Liverpool fans can also goad their Everton rivals with this fact: Woodburn, now the club's youngest ever goalscorer, was not born the last time the Toffees won at Anfield.

That was 27 September, 1999 - courtesy of a Kevin Campbell goal. Woodburn came into the world 19 days later.

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Watch: Ben Woodburn scores for Wales U19

Who can he play for - and why?

Woodburn was born in Nottingham on 15 October, 1999, making him eligible to play for the country of his birth, England.

But having a maternal grandfather born in Wales means he has played and impressed for Wales at under-16, under-18 and under-19 level.

He pledged his future to Wales, and recently starred as they narrowly missed out in the U19 Euro 2017 qualifiers, but he still remains eligible to play for England.

Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn celebrates becoming Liverpool's youngest ever goalscorer

Anfield progress

Since joining the Reds aged seven, Woodburn has progressed through the age grades, making his debut as a 16-year-old against Wigan in a friendly before the 2016-17 season.

He made his competitive debut as a substitute in Saturday's Premier League win over Sunderland.

In the process Woodburn became the third youngest player to represent Liverpool.

But what followed three days later propelled Woodburn into an altogether different stratosphere.

Michael Owen tweet
Michael Owen congratulates Ben Woodburn on breaking his record

That goal - and what it means

He came on in the 67th minute against Leeds. Fourteen minutes later, Woodburn ensured victory for the hosts and with a cool finish following a sweeping attack.

To a man, his team-mates made the effort to congratulate the fresh-faced hero of the moment.

But while the rest of Anfield revelled in the moment and its aftermath, manager Jurgen Klopp was more circumspect.

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Under-19 European Championship qualifying: Best goals as Wales bow out

Put simply, Klopp wants to protect the youngster from media hype after Woodburn overtook Liverpool legend Michael Owen as their youngest scorer by 98 days.

But that wish, expressed post-match, was followed by headlines in the national media, including Young king of the Kop, Owen Mk II and Heaven 17.

The public and media attention on Woodburn is unlikely to subside soon.

Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn has been a regular for Liverpool's U23 side

Liverpool contract

When Liverpool secured Woodburn on what was only described as a "long-term" deal in November 2016, Klopp could not have been more enthusiastic about the player.

"Wow, what an exciting talent he is," said Klopp.

After the win against Leeds, Klopp sought to return that particular cat to its bag.

"I'm afraid about all you in the media. That's why I'm so quiet," said Klopp.

"We know how to handle the situation."

Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn has progressed through the Wales youth set-up despite being eligible to play for England

International future?

Woodburn has made no secret of the inspiration he has gained from senior Wales stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey.

"Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey are world class and I want to replicate what they do," he told BBC Wales Sport.

It now falls to Wales manager Chris Coleman and, perhaps, his England counterpart Gareth Southgate to decide if, when and for whom Woodburn makes his international bow.

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