Gareth Bale: I told Ben Woodburn to turn down England

Rosalie Stanley
September 7, 2017

Woodburn is a highly-rated talent at Anfield and his performances on the global stage could see him driven into Jurgen Klopp's first-team plans.

So he said he was pleased to see 17-year-old Woodburn announce himself on the global stage with a dramatic victor against Austria just five minutes after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Sporting a one off yellow kit, Wales dominated the first half in terms of possession against a stubborn and well organised Moldovan side.

"But I don't care if Wales have a chance (of qualifying)".

"We lost the game and they deserved to win", he added.

"We're not a big nation and when good players come along we want them to produce and perform well".

"We were going to be choosy with when we use him, but he's a good young talent that's for sure".

As for the Republic of Ireland, their defeat to Serbia means their fate is now out of their hands after suffering their first loss in a competitive game under Martin O'Neill, which also brought to an end a run of nine unbeaten games at the Aviva Stadium.

That said, Moldova had come close to a rare victory in the two games preceding their match with Serbia. I don't know exactly how it's normal here.

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Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush has warned against over-exposing Ben Woodburn following the 17-year-old's emergence as a star prospect for club and country.

Woodburn's impact has helped revive Wales' hopes of a first World Cup appearance since 1958, with Coleman's side now second in Group D.

"He's so young, but he showed again that he's good enough and capable enough".

"Whatever is the next six or 12 months will be up to Jurgen and Ben himself".

Woodburn is nevertheless unlikely to start on the bench when Wales face Moldova.

The 1-0 victory for Wales over Austria on Saturday was a crucial one for their qualification hopes, on a night when the Republic of Ireland dropped points away in Georgia.

"These youngsters, even Ben, have it all to do because I know how tough it is to stay at the top level in this industry, " Coleman said. He's been great since he came in to the squad, kept his head down and worked hard. "Moldova at home, hopefully we can get a win there and then it's all to play for against Wales".

"There's nothing that prepares you for a 90 minutes out there, it's completely different".

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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