Liverpool forward Ben Woodburn has suggested that evidence of a clear pathway from the youth ranks through to the senior team was a key factor behind his decision to put pen to paper on a new contract at Anfield.

Academy graduate Woodburn has established himself as one of Liverpool's brightest young prospects since making his senior debut against Sunderland last season and replaced Michael Owen as the club's youngest ever goalscorer in November 2016 with his effort in the 2-0 EFL Cup quarter-final victory over Leeds United.

The 18-year-old, who now trails only Gareth Bale as Wales' second youngest goalscorer after coming off the bench to net a memorable debut winner against Austria last month, has made 10 total appearances across all competitions for the Reds to date and was rewarded for his swift development with a fresh long-term deal that was formally announced on Wednesday.

"I feel like at this club, there is a pathway to the first team and you get given chances here," he told Liverpool's official website.

"I've played for the first team, but I still want more of it. I've got a lot more to give, so I want to show what I can do."

He added: "It's an unbelievable feeling to sign a new contract with Liverpool. This is the club I want to stay at and be here as long as possible. When I was told, all I wanted to do was sign the contract."

Woodburn has made just one senior appearance for Liverpool so far this term despite his impressive showings at international level, replacing Philippe Coutinho at half-time of a listless Carabao Cup third round defeat to Leicester City at the King Power Stadium.

Instead, the highly-rated teenager has combined regular appearances for the Under-23s with a captain's role in the Under-19s Uefa Youth League, earning praise for his attitude and mentality from coach Steven Gerrard.

It is that patience in the face of limited first-team chances that has so impressed Jurgen Klopp, who evidently believes that Woodburn has what it takes to succeed at Liverpool in the longer term.

"This is brilliant news, although without sounding complacent about it, it is absolutely not a surprise," the manager said of the new contract. "Ben knows how committed we are to him and he and his family know this is the best environment for him to grow, learn more and become even better and better.

"Ben is that perfect balance of talent and attitude. One of either is OK - to fulfil your potential at the very highest level you need to have the maximum of both.

"I like that he is prepared to be patient. He has already had some big playing moments, for Liverpool and of course Wales. But when we ask him to go to the Academy and do things like play for Stevie's U19s in the Uefa Youth League, on nights we play Champions League football, he approaches it so well."

Ben Woodburn
Ben Woodburn netted twice for Liverpool during pre-season friendlies against Tranmere Rovers and Athletic Bilbao Ian Walton/Getty Images