Steven Gerrard has made Liverpool incredible midfielder his captain

Liverpool U18 coach Steven Gerrard believes Ben Woodburn being an example for those coming through made him an easy choice to be his captain.

The 18-year-old forward is currently playing outside the club’s first team due to manager Jurgen Klopp having a plethora of options in his position.

Gerrard, who ended an illustrious 16-year playing career last November and rejoined his boyhood club in an academy coaching role earlier this year, has attributed his team’s recent successes down to the Welsh international and subsequently holds him up as a role model.

“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,” Gerrard said, as reported by the Liverpool Echo.

“I thought he was excellent as an eight, controlling the middle of the pitch for the majority of the game.

“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.”

Gerrard added: “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.

“I think the reason we are getting positive performances is because everyone is bouncing off him.”

Gerrard insists Woodburn has been given the youth captaincy on merit rather than his name alone: “Ben 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.

“He has done that in training and he has also done it in the games so we are really happy for him.”