Ben Woodburn has put his superb strike against Athletic Bilbao down to the hard work he has been putting in on the training ground.
The Welshman put his team 2-1 up just before the hour mark in Saturday’s friendly in Dublin, producing a perfect touch to beat two defenders before striking home with his left foot from the edge of the box.
It served as yet another glimpse of the natural talent that has seen him rated so highly amongst those close to the club’s youth setup.
Discussing his finish, the teenager told Liverpoolfc.com: “It came to me on the edge of the box. I took a touch and just hit it on my left foot. Luckily it went in.”
“I’ve been practising a little bit on my left foot and it worked. Recently, I’ve been hitting them a lot cleaner. When you see a player dive in, you think ‘I’ll shift it and have a quick shot.’”
“I’m happy with how the pre-season has gone. Hopefully I can kick on in the season as well. [My target is] to keep improving and get games where I can.”
Woodburn enjoyed a productive pre-season with the Reds, making notable progress in his development and showing signs of adapting to his slightly deeper midfield role.
The 17-year-old will now be looking to build on his breakthrough 2016/2017 campaign, in which he was handed a number of first team opportunities by Jurgen Klopp.
To already be showcasing his technical ability and playing with such self-belief bodes well for a young man who is only going to improve, not to mention grow in stature and become physically stronger.
The foundations are in place for him to continue dominating in the U23s team, as well as presenting himself as a viable option for Klopp to make use of during what promises to be a busy and gruelling 2017/2018 season.
It just so happens that he finds himself under the perfect manager to fulfil his potential.