Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp was unhappy at the manner in which Ben Woodburn had been called into the Wales international team.
Woodburn, who became the youngest goalscorer for Liverpool in November, has linked up with Chris Coleman’s squad to begin preparations for their World Cup qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin on Friday.
Klopp, on the other hand, preferred the Nottingham-born player to stay at Liverpool to continue his development away from the spotlight.
Asked if he had spoken to Coleman about Woodburn’s call-up, Klopp said: “Actually, I was surprised about this. 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. But no call.”
“I heard the manager said he’s one of the best 23 players in Wales so he needs to be there, so that is his decision — all good,” he added. “But now we are two managers who have to make sure that he develops in the right way, because usually it was more my responsibility and now we can share it a little bit so that is good.”
However, Klopp also conceded that Woodburn could handle the expectations coming with his international call.
“If he stopped learning now, that would make no sense at 17. I’m not in doubt about this. We didn’t hide him, we used him all the time. He’s a fixed part of our training. He can deal with the nomination for Wales 100%.”
“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.”