PA Sport

Sam Vokes backs Wales team-mate Ben Woodburn to impress for Liverpool

Sam Vokes backs Wales team-mate Ben Woodburn to impress for Liverpool
By PA Sport

15/09/2017 at 23:03Updated 15/09/2017 at 23:16

Sam Vokes feels his Wales colleague Ben Woodburn is ready for regular Premier League football with Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp ponders what to do without Sadio Mane against Burnley.

Sam Vokes feels his Wales colleague Ben Woodburn is ready for regular Premier League football with Liverpool as Jurgen Klopp ponders what to do without Sadio Mane against Burnley.

The Reds were unsuccessful in their appeal to reduce Mane's three-game suspension following his dismissal against Manchester City, meaning the Senegal international will be missing for the visit of Vokes' Clarets to Anfield on Saturday and the two trips to Leicester in the Carabao Cup and Premier League.

Though Klopp is not short of attacking midfield options, with fit-again Philippe Coutinho and recent signing Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the head of the queue, Vokes has endorsed another Reds player in 17-year-old Woodburn.

The teenager's only two senior appearances this season have come as a substitute for Wales in World Cup qualifiers, when he scored the winner against Austria on his debut and then set up Hal Robson-Kanu for a crucial goal in Moldova.

"Ben has been fantastic for Wales, obviously getting a goal on your international debut is huge," Vokes said of his Welsh team-mate.

"I think he might be limited to chances at Liverpool but obviously from an international point of view to come and score your first goal and in the second game get a massive assist for us was huge. I am sure on the international side it will be massive for Wales.

"I am sure he is ready to play in the Premier League regularly. They have a wealth of talent at Liverpool so he is going to be limited with chances. But from his point of view it will be great for him to get some club football under his belt going into the international games.

"Obviously I am sure when he comes away with Wales now he will want to be involved and playing. He will want that chance at club level. I am sure the talent he has got he can step into that Liverpool side. From our point of view at Wales, he has been fantastic."

Anfield is the next destination for Burnley in a unenviable start to the campaign that has already included trips to Chelsea and Tottenham, with Everton and Manchester City their next two league hosts.

The Clarets failed to win any of their opening 17 away games in the division last year but have already picked up four points from their two matches on their travels this time.

"We've got some great confidence from the away games we've had recently and the points we've picked up," Vokes added.

"For us, we're not going there in fear of anyone. It's another chance for us to go and put our name out there.

"Even at start of the year when the fixtures came out, everyone thought, 'Those first five are daunting ', but we've taken that challenge on and we've got four points from the first two so we go to Anfield full of confidence."

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