Liverpool manager Klopp in awe of teenager Ben’s skills
London, Dec 1 (IANS) Liverpool manager Juergen Klopp on Thursday said it will be difficult calming expectations from teenager Ben Woodburn, who at 17, created a new record by becoming the youngest goalscorer in the history of the English football club.
Woodburn, who was drafted in as a substitute for Kevin Stewart in Liverpool’s League Cup quarter-final with Leeds United at Anfield, scored within 14 minutes to confirm his team’s place in the semis and in turn, write his name into the record books.
Though he is yet to start a game, Klopp believes he will need to drip feed the teenager with drops of experience in order to reduce the hype around him while maintaining that he is not afraid of using him if the moment calls for it.
“We know what Ben is capable of,” Klopp was quoted as saying in the Independent.
“My first job is to help these boys be the best. There are a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away and that is a difficult to do. But we needed him and we have to allow him to score goals. I’ll always prefer that!”
Klopp spilled the beans on his conversation with Woodburn in the changing room after the final whistle.
“I don’t think it makes sense that I say the obvious things,” he continued. “So first of all, I said ‘Well done, but it was not too difficult! I would have scored too if I would have been in the situation!’
“Nothing we say here is important enough that it would help Ben Woodburn or myself. It’s all good. We know how to handle the situation and I know I can say to you whatever I want, (but) if he scores goals then it’s quite difficult to stay cool from your side. No problem.
“Tonight it was very important that we could have him on the bench and could bring him into the game, because of our situation in the offensive department. (He was) a very important player for us today and he scored a goal, which makes it more enjoyable.”
Woodburn’s strike came after Divock Origi netted the opening goal following a cross from 18-year-old Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Liverpool’s victory means a second League Cup semi-final appearance in as many years under Klopp’s management.