Rush issues caution over Woodburn's rapid rise
Liverpool and Wales legend Ian Rush has warned against over-exposing Ben Woodburn following the 17-year-old's emergence as a star prospect for club and country.
Already Liverpool's youngest-ever goalscorer, Woodburn stamped his credentials as international player with a pair of eye-catching performances in the recent World Cup qualifiers.
The teenager struck a stunning winner in Wales' 1-0 defeat of Austria before helping overcome a stubborn Moldova, supplying the cross for Hal Robson-Kanu to break the deadlock in a 2-0 victory.
Chris Coleman restricted the forward to substitute cameos on both occasions and Rush, Wales' all-time leading goalscorer, agees with the conservative approach.
"There is a danger to throwing these young players straight in at the deep end," Rush told BBC Radio 5 Live.
"Even though he might be able to handle it he is still developing, getting bigger and stronger, so we have got to be careful how we use him.
"He has done really well but when you compare him to Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey there is still a long way to go.
"His time will come, but at the moment every time he has been asked to do something he has actually done it."
Woodburn's impact has helped revive Wales' hopes of a first World Cup appearance since 1958, with Coleman's side currently second in Group D.
"Everyone was proud of him, the way he came on and made a difference [in both games]," Rush said.
"The main aim is to get Wales to the World Cup finals and he will be in that set-up if he can do that, so [he needs to] keep his head down and keep on working hard."