In a run of the mill League Cup fixture, Ben Woodburn burst onto the scene with a well-taken volley to become Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer.
Tuesday night saw us see off Leeds United 2-0 at Anfield to reach the semi-finals of the EFL Cup. It wasn’t an easy win by any means, but a win nonetheless. The result aside, though, this could turn out to be a night that will live long in the memory of Liverpool fans, and in that of a certain player: Ben Woodburn.
The 17-year old came on at 0-0 with around twenty minutes to go and smashed the ball into the roof of the net to give us our second goal of the game. Most of our fans had already heard about him after a few exciting performances in pre-season, including goals against Fleetwood Town and Wigan Athletic, but they were nothing close to a goal in front of the Kop in what was pretty much his first team debut (he played a minute against Sunderland at the weekend). The player himself will no doubt have stopped thinking about the goal by now and will be continuing to work hard, but the fans – and certainly the media – won’t be forgetting it in a hurry.
Too much attention too soon is not always a good thing, it takes a very strong player to handle the pressure. Ben and everyone around him will be hoping he can do that and avoid joining the long list of players who have made an immediate impact, only to fail to live up to the media’s hype. What better man to help him do it than Jurgen Klopp?
Fans also have the right to be excited about Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria – both did quite well yesterday, Arnold setting up Origi’s opener with an excellent cross and Ejaria playing a beautiful ball through to Wijnaldum who was unlucky not to score. However, this applies to Woodburn in particular as the spotlight will no doubt be on him at the moment. Another exciting prospect, Ojo, has had a little bit of the pressure taken off him due to a long period out with injury.
The point is, don’t hype the kids up just yet. We have some very talented players with an exciting future, but there’s still a long way for them to go. I’m sure they will continue to develop well under Klopp’s guidance.