By Danny Wright
Reading and Wales midfielder David Edwards believes that there are many similarities between Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn and Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale.
Woodburn, 17, has been shoved into the limelight this season for his stunning displays in the Wales national team and has earned raved reviews off everyone who has watched him play – bizarrely including Hollywood actor David Hasselhoff.
The Liverpool attacker has played just once in Jurgen Klopp’s first-team this term in the 2-0 League Cup loss to Leicester, but has already earned his first and second senior international caps with Wales in wins against Austria and Moldova last month.
He scored the only goal against Austria with a stunner on his debut before supplying an assist in the 2-0 brushing aside of the Moldovans.
On Friday, Wales have a tough trip to Georgia to contend with where they will be hoping to catch up with Serbia, who lead their World Cup qualifying group.
However they will have to make do without Real Madrid’s Bale, but Edwards is confident that Woodburn can step up in the European giants’ superstar’s absence due to their similarities.
“I’ve seen a lot of Ben in this campaign and he reminds me of what Gareth was like when he was younger,” Edwards said, as quoted by Sky Sports.
“And if you see what Gareth was like in the Euros, the bigger the stage, the more he thrives. There aren’t many players who can do that when the whole world is watching.”
He added: “From what I’ve seen, I’m pretty sure Ben is cut from the same cloth and he will relish the chance to show everyone he is the real deal.”
Wales face Ireland in their final group stage clash next Monday with the Irish currently just a point behind them.
Chris Coleman’s side occupy the play-off spot but are four points behind Serbia with two games to go, meaning automatic qualification is well out of their hands.
In other Liverpool news, this Reds duo has been named in the England line-up to play Slovenia on Thursday night.