English Premiership

Klopp seeks to shield Woodburn from hype

2016-11-30 10:37
Ben Woodburn and Jurgen Klopp (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said Ben Woodburn would benefit from staying out of the public glare after a starring role in their EFL Cup win over Leeds United.

Woodburn became the youngest ever Liverpool goalscorer in the 2-0 victory at Anfield on Tuesday night, but Klopp said the 17-year-old needs to stay grounded.

"My first job is to help these boys so that they can be the best, in this case, Ben Woodburn," Klopp said. "There's a lot of things to do, especially to keep the public away as long as possible."

However, it is a fine line, Klopp said.

"That's quite a difficult thing to do, but on the other hand, we only bring him in because we want to use him." 

Woodburn came off the bench to seal the win and at 17 years and 45 days old, outdoing Michael Owen in the Anfield record books as their youngest goalscorer for the senior team.

"So that means when he's on the pitch he's absolutely allowed to score goals, to prepare situations, to make crosses — how Trent [Alexander-Arnold] did, for example." 

Alexander-Arnold was a success at right-back and supplied the cross for Divock Origi's 76th-minute opener.

Klopp said the media have a part to play in the process of shielding Woodburn.

"So, all good. I'm really happy for him. The only problem is I'm a little bit afraid about you [the media]." 

"That's why I'm so quiet on this. Think and do what you want, but don't write anything — only: 'Goalscorer, Ben Woodburn.' Done. Quite a challenge!"

Owen took to Twitter to congratulate Woodburn on breaking his record and was in the crowd to witness it being broken.

Klopp also confirmed that he was looking to make a few signings in the upcoming January transfer window with the injury to key midfielder, Philippe Coutinho likely to accelerate his transfer plans.

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