Liverpool's Ben Woodburn can shine in Carabao Cup tie, says Phil Thompson
Last Updated: 19/09/17 7:43pm
Ben Woodburn is "top notch" and can seize a rare first-team chance in the Carabao Cup this week, says Sky Sports' Phil Thompson.
The 17-year-old striker made headlines earlier this month when he scored on his Wales debut and Liverpool's youngest goalscorer could be in line for a role in the Reds' Carabao Cup third-round tie at Leicester City on Tuesday, live on Sky Sports Football.
"As you can see from his goal for Wales, he's absolutely top notch," said pundit Thompson. "It's all about your composure and accepting your chance without letting it get to you and I think he's got all of that.
"You see young players snatching at chances but he was cool and composed for Wales. You could see he's got the right temperament and you just hope he gets the playing time.
"I would imagine he will get another run out on Tuesday. You would think even more of the fringe players will come in back in for this one and you'd think that Woodburn would be a starter.
Find out what Thommo is tipping up at 50/1 in his Leicester v Liverpool RequestABet here.
"Liverpool have built up more of a squad so there's been games he's not been in the matchday squad this season but these will be the sort of games he'll be pinpointing as his chances."
Thompson is confident Woodburn has the attributes required to continue his rapid rise but warned he may have to be patient for Premier League opportunities.
The Sky Sports pundit coached Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen at Liverpool, two players who made big impacts as young players, but says the club's current array of attacking options means Woodburn must bide his time.
"You can see the comparisons with Michael Owen and Robbie Fowler but I do just fear it is hard for him to get the game time. Daniel Sturridge is struggling to get in the team so it's extremely difficult," said Thompson.
"I think he's got a really big future but he's got to be patient. He is only 17 and it's no good getting upset because he's not getting games.
"He seems a grounded lad and he needs to be aware that it is just part of his process. Liverpool needed Owen when he was 17 because they didn't really have anyone else but Klopp has Roberto Firmino, Sturridge and Dominic Solanke, but I think giving Woodburn a chance is one of the reasons they let Divock Origi go [out on loan]."
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