Saturday 19 August 2017

Jurgen Klopp: I should have been consulted over Ben Woodburn's Wales call-up for Ireland clash

Liverpool's Ben Woodburn is in the Wales squad
Liverpool's Ben Woodburn is in the Wales squad

Chris Bascombe

Jurgen Klopp, the Liverpool manager, says he is surprised Chris Coleman failed to consult him over the Wales call-up of teenager Ben Woodburn.

Coleman, the Wales manager, selected the 17-year-old for the latest round of World Cup qualifiers, a decision which has concerned Liverpool’s coaching staff.

Klopp said he was pleased for the youngster but made his reservations public, suggesting it was premature to elevate the player to international level without discussions with his club.

The German coach seemed most perplexed about Coleman not calling him to chat about Woodburn’s progress.

“Actually, I was surprised about this,” said Klopp.

“I don’t know exactly how it’s normal here. This should not be a criticism. But usually when you call up a player, a 17-year-old player, I thought it would be possible to call me. I’m not sure if he knows him well. He didn’t play in the team so far for Coleman I think. Because of the age, it would be better?”

Although Woodburn has earned rapid promotion for his club, his appearances have been limited to substitute – although he did start in this year’s FA Cup.

Klopp wants Woodburn to develop at a steady pace, controlling his development, and his main concern is to ensure the Wales manager is on the same page.

“If he stopped learning now, that would make no sense at 17,” said Klopp.

“I’m not in doubt about this. We didn’t hide him. We used him all the time. He’s a fixed part of training. He can deal with nomination for Wales 100 per cent. It’s a little bit like my situation. As long as you give me the time, as long as we give him the time, everything will be good.

“He has to learn, he has to develop, he has to improve, all of this. That’s why I said there are now two managers responsible for him. Until now, it was only my job.”

Telegraph.co.uk

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