Scout report: Wales and Liverpool forward showcases why Chris Coleman wants to bring him to Sunderland

Ben Woodburn in action against Sunderland Under-23s,
Ben Woodburn in action against Sunderland Under-23s,
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Sunderland boss Chris Coleman would need no reminder as to the talents of Liverpool forward and January target Ben Woodburn.

But he got one at the weekend. The exciting teenager scored a sensational strike against Sunderland Under-23s at the Stadium of Light, firing past Mika from 25 yards in a comfortable 4-1 win.

Coleman was at the stadium but he will be fully aware of the talented teens potential already.

It was Coleman that gave the teenager his full Wales debut. Aged just 17, he hammered home a superb winner as Wales beat Austria 1-0 in Cardiff.

It plunged Woodburn into the spotlight.

And Coleman, in need of reinforcements, hopes to be able to attract him to Wearside next month on loan from Liverpool.

Woodburn was one of the standout performers in the Under-23 game. Liverpool’s second string extended their lead at the top of Premier League 2 with victory and Woodburn played a key role.

The Reds played a 4-2-3-1 formation and the teenager was deployed on the left wing of the three men supporting striker Rhian Brewster – another hot prospect.

Woodburn is predominantly right-footed, very comfortable on the ball and was happy to go deep in order to get it.

One mazy run he went on should have resulted in a penalty while he was at the heart of all Liverpool’s good attacking play.

Still only 18, he is a regular for the Under-23s and has already made his Liverpool and Wales debut.

Quite a prospect. Clearly Sunderland wouldn’t pin all their hopes on the shoulders of a teenager forward but he certainly looks a big talent.

The Liverpool No 10 gave Josh Robson a difficult afternoon at right back.

Woodburn’s main position is wide left but he is also comfortable on the right and in a central role.

Woodburn produced a moment of magic 40 minutes in, his quick feet turning the Sunderland defence before dinking a delightful ball to the back post, but Liverpool couldn’t capitalise.

Quick feet, good balance, keen to get at the defence, Woodburn got his goal eight minutes from time to seal the 4-1 win.

Brewster laid the ball off to the forward and he hit a stunning first-time strike past Mika, Sunderland’s third-choice unable to prevent the well-hit sidefooted effort from nestling in the corner of the goal.

It capped a fine performance.

The watching scouts will have taken a note of his name, with Coleman keen to attract him to Wearside to bolster his attacking options.

Woodburn already has a link with Sunderland, having made his Liverpool debut against the Black Cats in November 2016.

Three days later he became Liverpool’s youngest-ever goalscorer – at the age of 17 years and 45 days – when he netted against Leeds United.

Coleman will hope his strong links with the forward will help seal a loan move.