Ben Woodburn was so good he was wowing Academy coaches from Spain aged just 12…
Having said that, the playmaker is only 17 now, so it’s perhaps pretty obvious he was showing huge talent in 2012!
His former teacher Mark Lindley has explained how the Welsh prodigy, born in Cheshire, was taken on tour to Barcelona as a schoolboy – and was so exceptional – Espanyol wanted to sign him there and then!
“He is an exceptional talent and is not fazed by any situation he faces,” Lindley told the Mirror. “He just adapts to any environment.
“It is a new world out there, but Ben is going to take every opportunity he has.”
“I knew Ben when he was eight because of the school sports events we held and also because of my previous involvement at Liverpool’s academy.
“Even at that age, you could see he was something special, an exceptional talent.
“He was always a very quiet boy when he was at school but it was a different world when you saw him on the pitch. He could score from anywhere, often scoring four, five or six goals a game from all over the pitch. Straight away you knew there was something special about him.
“At school he played in central midfield and I remember he came on tour with us to Barcelona, aged 12. We were training with Espanyol and Barcelona and he didn’t look out of place.
“I remember the Espanyol coaches thought he was something special. They wanted to sign him.”
Woodburn’s not had many Liverpool opportunities this season, but could start for Wales in their crucial World Cup Qualifiers against Georgia and Ireland this week due to Gareth Bale’s injury.
To many, Woodburn is considered as Bale’s heir in the national side, after he scored and assisted goals during the last international break.
Sadly, we’re out of the League Cup, so we might not get to see the teenage sensation in Liverpool red until after Christmas, when the FA Cup starts…
Hopefully Chris Coleman will give the wonderkid a chance, as like Lindley suggests, we reckon he’ll take it with both hands.