Jurgen Klopp has vowed to protect Ben Woodburn after the youngster scored his debut goal for Liverpool last night.
17-year old Ben Woodburn became Liverpool’s youngest ever scorer, after scoring in the 81st minute to seal a 2-0 victory over Garry Monk’s impressive Leeds United side. The goal means that Woodburn beat Michael Owen’s record by 98 days, having scored the goal at 17 years and 45 days old.
The comparisons with Steven Gerrard have already begun to surface. But, Jurgen Klopp has said he will not let media pressure and expectations lead to Woodburn failing to fulfill his potential, as has been the case with so many young British players in the past.
According to Liverpool’s official website, Klopp had this to say about the youngster :
“We know what Ben is capable of and what he is already able to do. My first job is to help these boys to be the best, in this case Ben Woodburn. There is a lot to do, especially to keep the public away for as long as possible.”
“I am really happy for him. The only problem is that I am a little bit afraid of you all [in the media]. That is the thing why I am so quiet.”
Klopp also felt that the rest of his young squad, which had the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria, performed well:
“All the young boys did very well – 17, 18, 19, they did well in a very important game. It’s a quarter-final,” he said.
“They (Leeds) couldn’t show it tonight how strong they are, that’s the biggest compliment I would say, from my side.”
The performances of Klopp’s youngsters will be very encouraging for the German manager, who lost Coutinho for the rest of the year and is set to lose Sadio Mane to the Africa Cup of Nations in January. Divock Origi also worked hard against a Leeds side that took Liverpool to task, and got on the scoresheet five minutes before Woodburn – another encouraging sign for Jurgen Klopp.
Leeds had several chances to open the scoring and as Kyle Bartley’s header went wide it seemed inevitable that they would be made to pay for all those missed chances. And that is exactly what happened as Liverpool scored 2 goals in 5 minutes and booking a place in the EFL Cup Semi-Final.
Liverpool next face Bournemouth on Sunday, travelling to Dean Court for a tricky Premier League fixture.