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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 20 February, 2019
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Wales could look to cap Liverpool's youngest-ever scorer against Ireland to fend off England's interest

17-year-old Ben Woodburn was born in Chester.

Woodburn overtook Michael Owen as the club's youngest-ever goalscorer.
Woodburn overtook Michael Owen as the club's youngest-ever goalscorer.
Image: PA Wire/PA Images

LIVERPOOL’S NEW TEENAGE star Ben Woodburn could be about to face an international tug-of-war.

At the age of 17 years and 45 days, the forward became Liverpool’s youngest-ever scorer in last night’s 2-0 victory over Leeds United in the EFL Cup – beating Michael Owen’s previous record by 98 days.

Woodburn, who also made his Premier League debut at the weekend against Sunderland, is still qualified to play for England despite being a Wales underage international.

Born in Chester in England, Woodburn has represented Wales at under-16, under-17 and under-19 level, but even though he has indicated his future is with the side he qualifies through his family, Woodburn could still play for the country of birth until he is capped in a competitive senior international by Wales.

Former Liverpool manager Roy Evans, who was also Wales assistant manager under John Toshack says Chris Coleman may have a battle to prevent Woodburn switching allegiances.

“You’ve got to jump in there, whether you’re Chris Coleman or you’re [Gareth] Southgate,” Evans said.”You’ve got to jump on these players when they become available and you think they’re going to be good enough.

“So it’ll be a little war between the two countries, I think, over this young lad because he is full of talent.”

The next opportunity Wales have to cap Woodburn in a competiive fixture is the World Cup 2018 qualifier against Ireland in Dublin next March, where they could be without their Real Madrid star Gareth Bale through injury.

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