By Danny Wright

4th Sep, 2017 | 10:41am

Joey Barton makes bold claim about Liverpool attacker, compares to La Liga superstar

By Danny Wright

Joey Barton has boldly claimed that Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn is showing a lot more promise than Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale did when he was at a similar age.

Woodburn, 17, scored on his international debut on Saturday night in Wales’ 1-0 win over Austria in a 2018 World Cup qualifier and has since been widely praised for his performance.

The teenage sensation came off the bench to join La Liga superstar Bale in the Wales attack but soon grabbed all the attention away from the ex-Tottenahm man by scoring a wonder goal from outside the penalty area.

Barton is now the latest pundit to heap praise on the young Liverpool attacker but has asked the question as to why he wasn’t picked up by the FA to play for England having been born in Nottingham.

“His touch for the goal is phenomenal and the ability to strike it. But at 17, I remember Bale at Southampton and you have to say he [Woodburn] is at a higher level isn’t he now,” said Barton on TalkSport, as quoted on Alan Brazil’s Sports Breakfasts official Twitter account on Monday.

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“I’m not saying he is going to be Bale’s [level]; there is a long, long way to go but I think England have got to be gutted they missed out on him.”

Woodburn’s international heroics are amplified by the fact that he has only ever made nine senior appearances for Liverpool.

He is yet to be picked by Jurgen Klopp to feature in any of the first-team matches this term but performances like what he showed against Austria will no doubt capture the attention of the German manager, who already has a more than capable attack on his hands.

In other Liverpool news, actor David Hasselhoff is strangely one of the many people to have praised Woodburn in the past few days.

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