Liverpool teenager stakes claim as Mane replacement in January
COMMENT By Emma Sanders
Ben Woodburn should be considered by Jurgen Klopp as a possible replacement for Sadio Mane when the striker leaves on international duty in January.
The Senegalese is due to join up with the national side for the Africa Cup of Nations for up to a month and could miss important clashes against Manchester United and Chelsea.
Liverpool already have several players in the squad who could step up in his absence, including Divock Origi, Sheyi Ojo and Daniel Sturridge, but Woodburn should now be considered in that list too.
The 17-year-old became the club’s youngest ever goalscorer during Liverpool’s 2-0 victory against Leeds in the EFL Cup quarter-final on Tuesday evening.
His goal came just four days after he made his first-team debut as a late substitute in the 2-0 win against Sunderland on Saturday, and Jurgen Klopp could hand him further opportunities to shine.
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Injuries to Philippe Coutinho, Roberto Firmino and Sturridge have created the chance for the youngster this week and Klopp’s faith in him has paid off.
Woodburn showed maturity and composure beyond his years during his two cameo performances and Klopp has no reason to hesitate giving him more responsibility in January.
He can play on either wing and is a goal-scoring threat so he can certainly offer something should Klopp opt to put his trust in the young player in January.
In other Liverpool news, Divock Origi must take his opportunity to shine if he wants to hold down a regular first team spot.