England-born Liverpool wonderkid named in Wales squad as Real Madrid and Arsenal stars beat injury to join him

Liverpool wonderkid Ben Woodburn has broken into the senior Wales squad at the tender age of 17.

The Chester-born teenage striker, who has scored one goal in seven outings for his club this season, is also eligible for England, although he won’t be once he’s made his Wales debut.

However, Wales boss Chris Coleman rejected suggestions that he has called up Woodburn before he was ready in order to prevent the risk of losing him to the Three Lions.

Coleman told BBC Sport: “Everyone got excited about Ben when he broke into the Liverpool side, but we’ve been excited about him since he was 13-years old.

“He’s there on merit. We’ve been looking at him for four years, we were not worried (about him choosing England).”

Woodburn is one of two Liverpool players in Coleman’s latest squad as he is joined by Reds goalkeeper Danny Ward, who is currently out on loan at Huddersfield Town.

Former Liverpool midfielder Joe Allen is one of the star names in the squad.

Allen has been used as a no.10 for Stoke City this season, so he could line up behind Woodburn.

Fellow stars Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, of Real Madrid and Arsenal, have also both been called up, despite missing recent games for their respective clubs through injury.

Wales squad for World Cup qualifier against Ireland (A) on Friday, March 24:

Wayne Hennessey, Danny Ward, Owain Fon Williams, Ben Davies, James Chester, James Collins, Joe Walsh, Chris Gunter, Jazz Richards, Neil Taylor, Ashley Williams, Joe Allen, David Edwards, Andy King, Tom Lawrence, Joe Ledley, Shaun MacDonald, Aaron Ramsey, Gareth Bale, Hal Robson-Kanu, Tom Bradshaw, Sam Vokes, Ben Woodburn

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