Liverpool assistant manager Pep Lijnders has declared Ben Woodburn still has a future at Anfield.
Woodburn has been one of the surprise highlights of pre-season having regularly made an impact when emerging from the bench, and caught the eye in an hour-long outing during Monday’s 3-1 friendly win over Osasuna.
The 21-year-old hasn’t featured for the Reds’ first team in more than three years and has since experienced mixed loan spells at Sheffield United, Oxford United and Blackpool.
In the final year of his contract, the Wales international has been expected to depart this summer with long-held interest from clubs in the Championship and overseas.
But while Liverpool would consider serious offers for Woodburn, Lijnders is adamant there could yet be a role for him to play at the club.
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“Again, what a performance from Ben,” he said after Monday’s final warm-up game.
“The energy he brings to the team is exactly what we stand for. Football smart, a good mover and he unbalances the opposition constantly with the ball but also with his movement off it.
“I’m so happy for him. Like many of the team it didn’t come easy for him, but he has an Anfield future.”
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp also praised Woodburn and in particular his versatility.
Speaking to liverpoolfc.com, he said: “Ben missed only a small part of the pre-season but around this little break he shows up in a top, top way.
“He played in the pre-season I think four, five, six, seven positions.
“Played right-back, did really well; played midfield, did really well; played the wing, did really well; played number nine, did really well. So that’s good.”