Steven Gerrard is set to raid Liverpool this summer as he embarks on his first managerial adventure in Scotland. He has been rumoured to be looking at former Liverpool teammates like Martin Skrtel, Javier Mascherano and Daniel Sturridge; hoping to convince them to come and be part of his project. However, he has been linked with several youth players in the system having managed the under 18s at Liverpool for a season. One name that has cropped up more than others is youth prospect, Ben Woodburn.
The Nottingham born 18-year-old burst onto the scene when he became the third youngest debutant for Liverpool at just 17 years and 42 days old when he came off the bench in the 92nd minute against Sunderland in 2016. His name was in the papers once again as came off the bench to score against Leeds United in the EFL Cup quarter-final and smashed Michael Owen’s longstanding record of being Liverpool’s youngest ever goalscorer.
Although his first team career stalled, his youth career prospered as he was named Liverpool’s academy player of the season after he scored eight goals in Premier League 2. This was followed by a season under Gerrard as the captain of the under 19s in the UEFA Youth League and winning the BBC Wales Young Sportsman of the Year.
Despite being born in England, Woodburn has chosen to represent Wales at the national level. He has played at under 15s, 16s, 17s, 19s and even senior level. In 2017, Chris Coleman called him up for the national squad against the Republic of Ireland but remained an unused substitute. He finally made his senior debut coming on as a substitute and scoring a 25-yard winning goal.
The 18-year-old is predominantly used as a winger but is more than capable of playing as a striker. The young man is blessed with an abundance of pace and can glide past defenders with ease. For a player who is only 5 feet 7 inches he also possesses plenty of strength and has the ability to hold off defenders who are a lot taller than him.
If Gerrard does bring him to Ibrox, it could be an intention on how the Liverpudlian intends to play. It would include plenty of pace on the wings and strong attacking football as he looks to break Celtic’s dominance. With funds at Rangers low then delving into the loan market might be their best option and Woodburn might not be the only new addition.
Rangers are hoping to complete the deal in the coming days so that Gerrard can have a new squad by the time they return for the new season.