Monday, 24 July, 2017

Ben Woodburn names in Wales squad for Ireland clash

Wales announce squad for Ireland game Sport Peter Byrne PA Wire PA Images
Spencer Simpson | 17 March, 2017, 01:00

Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn receives a first call-up to the Wales squad for the World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland on March 24.

Although Woodburn joined Liverpool more than a decade ago and has always been regarded as the club's brightest academy prospect, it was that landmark moment against Leeds United in the EFL Cup quarter-finals in November that catapulted him into the spotlight.

Woodburn is eligible to play for England but has represented Wales at underage level, with Coleman looking to bed him into the senior worldwide set-up early to ward off interest from Gareth Southgate. There will be no knee-jerk reaction to cap him.

He subsequently started three FA Cup games for the club and has made a total of seven appearances to date, but despite having come up through the ranks with Wales, he still qualifies for England, who have shown interest in the teenager, prompting some pressure on Coleman to cap him competitively and so put his worldwide future beyond doubt. We see Ben as an worldwide player for Wales.

"If Ben wanted to go and play for England there is absolutely nothing we can do about it, none of our players belong to us, they are not contracted to us".

"Ben has been in our system for five years since he was 13".

"If I thought it was too early I wouldn't call him up because this game is massive for us".

Coleman added that he would allow Dummett the rest because they have Tottenham's Ben Davies and Aston Villa's Neil Taylor, who are able to play left back. He has a good future with us. He's training with global players everyday so it's a small transition and there won't be any problem for him. We weren't getting excited about Ben, we already knew about him.

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