Pep Lijnders is ‘so happy’ for ‘football smart’ 21-year-old with ‘Anfield future’

Pep Lijnders has told Liverpool’s official website that he is ‘so happy’ for ‘football smart’ Ben Woodburn and while he hasn’t had an easy time of things, ‘he has an Anfield future.’

The Nottingham-born midfielder burst onto the scene in spectacular fashion in November 2016 as a 17-year-old and became the club’s third-youngest debutant of all time.

Since then, his career at Anfield has slowed down a touch but it’s important to note that he’s still only 21 and that Liverpool aren’t going to rush him into becoming their next Academy success story.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 29: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Ben Woodburn of Liverpool scores the second and celebrates during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on November 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England. The goal makes Woodburn the youngest ever goalscorer for Liverpool aged 17 years and 45 days. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – NOVEMBER 29: (THE SUN OUT, THE SUN ON SUNDAY OUT) Ben Woodburn of Liverpool scores the second and celebrates during the EFL Cup Quarter-Final match between Liverpool and Leeds United at Anfield on November 29, 2016 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Andrew Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Woodburn played against Osasuna and while he didn’t set the stadium alight the same way Harvey Elliott did the day before, there is quiet optimism that the gifted youngster can still find his feet at Liverpool.

Speaking to Liverpool’s official website, Lijnders said: “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.”

Ben Woodburn of Liverpool in action during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and CA Osasuna at Anfield on August 9, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Ben Woodburn of Liverpool in action during the pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and CA Osasuna at Anfield on August 9, 2021 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The only concern I have with Woodburn’s pre-season is that Liverpool seem confused with what his best position is.

Jurgen Klopp seemingly admitted this to the club’s site as the 21-year-old has played at fullback, as a no.9, in midfield and on the wing.

At his age, there should be little confusion over where his future lies and I worry that there is now a risk that he becomes a player like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain or James Milner.

The latter is a cult hero and a Premier League legend so perhaps there isn’t anything wrong with being a utility player but Milner has never tied down a position and Chamberlain’s injuries and versatility seem to have him heading down that path too.

UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA - JULY 16: Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool talks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool and James Milner of Liverpool of Liverpool during a training session on July 16, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)
UNSPECIFIED, AUSTRIA – JULY 16: Pepijn Lijnders of Liverpool talks with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain of Liverpool and James Milner of Liverpool of Liverpool during a training session on July 16, 2021 in UNSPECIFIED, Austria. (Photo by John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images)

Hopefully, Liverpool and Woodburn can figure out the best role for him and find a club for him to join on loan for the 2021/22 season.

A Premier League club would be best but it’s likelier a Championship side would take him although the Echo reports that Liverpool would consider serious offers for Woodburn.

I doubt Lijnders would go on record as saying that the player has an ‘Anfield future’ only for the club to sell him shortly after but I’ve been wrong before so we’ll see what happens in the next few weeks.

Michael Mongie
Football Central Media Group founder, owner and editor.

LATEST ARTICLES

Former Liverpool target agrees deal with Wolves – have Liverpool missed out?

Liverpool's former midfield target has agreed on a deal to sign for Wolves in the last 24 hours, but have the Reds missed out? Following...

Liverpool pull out of negotiations without making an offer as Klopp finds alternative to £51M deal

Liverpool have taken the decision to back their young talents amidst reports they have exited the race for £51M rated midfielder. The likes of Harvey...

Video: Every clash between Darwin Nunez and Joachim Andersen before 57th minute red card

Liverpool's Darwin Nunez was sent off last night against Crystal Palace but a video reveals all the clashes with centre-back Joachim Andersen before the...

Julian Ward set to to make offer – Liverpool could finally sign £106,000/week cultured passer

Liverpool look set to target another midfielder amidst their injury woes as they hope to secure £106k-a-week experienced midfielder before the window shuts. The Reds...

Jurgen Klopp reveals current transfer stance – tells media he wants the ‘right’ player

Jurgen Klopp has revealed Liverpool's transfer stance amidst rumours of a move for a midfielder and current injury issues. The Reds are currently missing up...