Steven Gerrard delighted by attitude of Liverpool youngster Ben Woodburn
Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard has been impressed with the attitude of young striker Ben Woodburn.
Wales international Woodburn, the youngest goal scorer in Liverpool history, made nine appearances for the Reds' first team last season but has made just one 45-minute substitute appearance this term.
Academy coach Gerrard has made Woodburn, who turned 18 on Sunday, captain of his UEFA Youth League under-19 side.
He is playing for the under-23s while training with the first team, and Gerrard has been encouraged by what he has seen.
"I think Ben needs to play at the moment so if Jurgen doesn't need him at first team level it's an excellent opportunity to come and play with his friends who he came through the system with, be the captain and leader in this team and set the example," former Liverpool captain Gerrard said.
"I am pleased with Ben because his attitude and mentality when he comes down to train at the academy is 10 out of 10. That gives everyone a lift.
"His mates are so happy to have him around and he is smiling and playing around with them so it is a great mix.
"We all know Ben is going to play different types of football this year, he knows that and is happy with that.
"The challenge is when he comes down to this level can he approach it like a first-team game and so far he has been excellent."
Woodburn has worn the armband for Liverpool's three matches in the UEFA Youth League, in which they are top of their group, and Gerrard said: "He deserves that responsibility.
"He has good knowledge, having been around the first team for a year, and he has had some international experience so he is further down the line than all of these players.
"I also know he is a positive influence around the dressing room.
"I haven't just given Ben the captaincy because he is Ben Woodburn, he has got it on merit and he will lead by example in his performances."