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Ben Woodburn set for long-term Liverpool deal after shining for Wales

Match winner Ben Woodburn of Wales (22) celebrates victory with team mates after the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier between Wales and Austria at Cardiff City Stadium on September 2, 2017 in...

Ben Woodburn’s emergence with Liverpool and Wales is set to be rewarded with a new long-term contract at Anfield when the forward turns 18 next month.

The teenager played a starring role for Chris Coleman’s Wales team during the international break, scoring a stunning winning goal within five minutes of his introduction against Austria before creating Hal Robson-Kanu’s crucial breakthrough against Moldova in the World Cup qualifier on Tuesday.

Wales leapfrogged the Republic of Ireland into second place in Group D thanks to the 17-year-old’s contributions in the back-to-back victories. “We had to dig deep and keep the belief, and when you’ve got someone like Ben Woodburn anything can happen,” said Ben Davies, the Wales defender, following the win in Moldova.

Woodburn is only 12 months into the three-year deal he signed after turning 17 last October – his first professional contract and the maximum length of time he could sign for at that age. However, the Liverpool academy graduate becomes eligible to sign a five-year deal on his 18th birthday on 15 October and the club are set to reward his progress under Jürgen Klopp with a lucrative new contract.

The Chester-born forward, who has represented Wales from under-15s level upwards, became the youngest goalscorer in Liverpool’s history last season when he netted in a League Cup quarter‑final defeat of Leeds United. He made nine appearances in total for Klopp’s team last season but has yet to make a matchday squad this term.

Liverpool will move to secure Woodburn’s long-term future as soon as he turns 18 with the new deal expected to be finalised shortly after his birthday.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Andy Hunter, for The Guardian on Wednesday 6th September 2017 22.30 Europe/London

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