Sam Allardyce thinks Liverpool may have made a mistake by not sending Ben Woodburn out on loan this season.
The disgraced England boss, hardly renowned for his ability at bringing young players through, has for some reason, thought it his place to give Jurgen Klopp advice.
Already since joining Liverpool, Klopp’s mentored Woodburn and Trent Alexander-Arnold into genuine first-team contention, while he won the Bundesliga at Borussia Dortmund with a side whose average age was around 23.
Klopp clearly knows what he’s doing with the young Welshman, whose performances for his country during the international break prove this.
Allardyce told Sky Sports: : “I think it’s about protection now – protecting him from all the media and all the hype that may come his way and try to keep him level-headed and keep his feet on the game.
“Hopefully, he gets more game time for Liverpool because Jurgen has kept him.
“Maybe a loan out might have been better for him to get first-team experience but with Liverpool being in all four competitions this year if he gets 15, 20, 10 games for Liverpool this year and Wales, you could see the emerging youngster being one of the best we’ve seen for quite a while.
“You can see that in the day-to-day training that you have with the player that you bring up from the academy.
“You leave them there and see if they can cope with that level of training and football.
“At some stage he will force himself [into the team] – a bit like Rashford at Manchester United.”
Woodburn hasn’t been sent on loan for a reason: he’s needed at Liverpool. Obviously Mo Salah, Sadio Mane and now Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are ahead of him in the pecking order regarding wingers – but with multiple cup competitions to navigate, Woodburn will get chances.