Ben Woodburn has revealed what a fantastic experience playing and training under Jürgen Klopp has been and how he’s feeling after a crazy 12 months.
“Lovely ball back to Divock Origi again… Wijnaldum.. WOODBURN!”
Ben Woodburn will never forget the moment he became Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer at Anfield, against Leeds United in last season’s EFL Cup fixture.
“My phone just blew up with messages, WhatsApps, tags, likes… everything,” he told Liverpool’s official website as he remembered the moment.
“All of my family and friends got in touch, it just went a bit mad. I managed to reply to everyone who’d messaged me, but it took awhile!
“At the time it was obviously an unbelievable moment for me and everyone around me. Those things happen in football, though, so you can’t allow yourself to get caught up in it. That said, I’ve probably seen it back a few times! It is nice to watch.”
However, the 17-year old is no longer focussing on that moment and is now looking to press on and repay the faith shown in him by Reds boss Jürgen Klopp this coming season.
“I have enjoyed every minute of it so much,” he said of playing and training with the first-team.
“It’s been a massive learning experience for me, especially alongside the players we have in the squad. Having those people around has made learning easier for me. I wouldn’t say I get nervous about anything now, I get excited because I just love playing football.”
Woodburn was primarily fielded on the left-hand side of Liverpool’s front three when he appeared last campaign but Klopp has refused to pigeon hole the Welshman into one position, trialling him in midfield this pre-season so far.
“He’s right in what he is saying – I am only young and I don’t want to put one position to my name,” Woodburn confessed to Liverpoolfc.com.
“I still don’t know which my best position is, I don’t think anybody does at the moment. I like playing in centre mid, but I like playing on the wing as well. I just like playing anywhere really!
“I feel like we’ve got quite a good relationship. He has been really good with me and since I’ve been with the first team, he’s helped me a lot.”
“It makes it special when you get advice from someone like him. He is one of the best in what he does. I just hope I can repay him with what I do on the pitch.”
“I sort of feel like I am establishing myself in the first-team set-up, but I know there is a long, long way to get to where I want to be. I am happy with what happened last season, but there’s so much hard work still to do and a long way to go for me.”
The youngster also highlighted two Liverpool players in particular as being a huge help in his switch to a midfield role.
“It is good to play in midfield, especially with Henderson and Lallana because they’re top players and they make it easier for me when I’m alongside them,” Woodburn explains.
“They talk to me throughout games, they’re good like that. They’re both captains in different ways – Hendo is the captain, but they both speak to me, give me advice and praise and it just makes it a lot easier.”
Despite the young star’s rise to fame, Woodburn has revealed that home life is still the same and that he remains down to earth and grounded for his parents.
“They don’t treat me any differently or anything. I still have to do the odd thing around the house for my mum – I have to tidy my room and put my dishes away! They’re the same with me. They obviously know my life has changed, but they keep my feet on the ground.
“It means I can just switch off when I go home; chill, watch TV, play FIFA with my friends. I am always doing stuff at home – I don’t stay in my room. Either that or I’ll be out doing something like playing golf or round at a friend’s house.”
Reflecting on a phenomenal twelve months rise to fame, Woodburn highlighted his targets for the next twelve ahead.
“I’m just taking things as they come at the moment. I set myself a few targets, but ultimately I just want to play some games, hopefully, score some goals and win matches.
“I sort of feel like I am establishing myself in the first-team set-up, but I know there is a long, long way to get to where I want to be. I am happy with what happened last season, but there’s so much hard work still to do and a long way to go for me.
“I just want to show everyone what I can do at the moment and show progression from last season.”
You can read the full transcript of Woodburn’s interview and hear his thoughts on Alexander-Arnold, signing autographs and what he watches on Netflix here!