Ben Woodburn becomes Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer
By Adam Bate
Last Updated: 30/11/16 1:20pm
Ben Woodburn came off the bench to score Liverpool's second goal in their 2-0 EFL Cup win over Leeds United on Tuesday - and become the club's youngest ever scorer in the process. Here's the reaction of his team-mates, his manager and a club legend...
When Ben Woodburn scored for Liverpool against Wigan during pre-season, Reds manager Jurgen Klopp said: "The problem that you can make for these guys is that you write too much about them. You can write about them when they are 18, 19."
So much for the chances of that. Woodburn took matters into his own hands in Liverpool's EFL Cup quarter-final against Leeds. At the age of 17 years and 45 days, he fired home in front of the Kop to break Michael Owen's record as the club's youngster ever goalscorer.
The reaction of James Milner on the touchline captured the emotion of the occasion. "Yes, Woody!" he yelled as a broad grin came across Klopp's face by his side and the manager confirmed afterwards that there could hardly have been a more popular goalscorer.
"It's a nice story," Klopp told Sky Sports. "All the boys are really happy for him, everybody is smiling in the dressing room. It's a good moment for him and a good moment for us."
If the goal wasn't technically decisive to the outcome of the game, the fact that Woodburn was on the pitch to score it was significant. Klopp turned to Woodburn midway through the second half with the scores goalless and the game still in the balance.
Having made his Premier League debut against Sunderland at the weekend, this goal will only embolden the manager further that Woodburn is a young player who can be trusted to deliver. Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher feels that is important.
This lad comes in and scores a goal so you know already the manager will have the faith.
"I always think people like Michael and people like Robbie Fowler, strikers who went on to have fantastic careers at Liverpool, always made an impact early on," he told Sky Sports.
"We always want young players to get a chance, but you can't expect 10 or 12 appearances as a young player. You might get one, two or three games. You've got to make an impact. This lad comes in and scores a goal so you know already the manager will have the faith."
Woodburn's game in stats
|v Leeds United||Total|
Cheshire-born Woodburn joined Liverpool aged eight and took his GCSEs in the summer, but his age is not going to hold him back now. "We all know how young he is but he doesn't look like this," added Klopp. "Obviously he grows quicker than other players in his skills."
His captain on the night, Lucas Leiva, was also impressed. "He's a brilliant young player," he told Sky Sports. "In pre-season he did very well. He just needs to keep learning and keep improving. This goal will just give him that confidence to keep going and keep learning."
How many can he go on to get? The man whose record he has broken isn't as popular as he once was at Anfield, but perhaps Woodburn would settle for Owen's tally of 158 goals for Liverpool. That's for another day. This was a night for history as well as the future.
"Whatever that lad does in his career, he'll never forget that moment," added Carragher.