Liverpool's Ben Woodburn named in Wales squad to face Republic of Ireland

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn named in Wales squad to face Republic of Ireland

The Nottingham-born forward is eligible for Wales through his grandfather and has represented them at youth levels.

The 17-year-old Woodburn, who has made seven appearances for the Merseyside club this season, became Liverpool's youngest scorer when he scored against Leeds United in the League Cup in November.

That has made him hot property and the target for Gareth Southgate's England age-group scouts, but Coleman remains adamant he has been picked in his 23-man squad on form alone, rather than as a carrot to keep him.

"He's been in our system for five years, so we know all about him, he's done well this season".

"He's there on merit and we're looking forward to having him on board", Wales manager Chris Coleman told reporters on Thursday.

"If Ben wanted to play for England there's absolutely nothing we could do about it because our players aren't contracted with us, it's up to him". But that's not the way to do it. If I thought it was too early for him I wouldn't put him in because this is a big game for us.

"Of course I speak to the parents with players like Ben and tell them the pathway, what we expect and what we provide, but that's worldwide management and I'm no different in that respect".

Chris Coleman was explaining why Paul Dummett was left out of the Wales national squad and he revealed that Dummett had been playing with an injury for the past few weeks. "He's a Welsh global, he's played for us since a young boy and this is a the natural progression for him". "He won't be daunted by playing with global players, he does it every day".

Coleman also commented on the future of Welsh football and the young players coming through.

"It's important to build on what we have achieved so far and we're only going to do that by improving the facilities and the coaches these players are raised with".

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