Jurgen Klopp has confirmed that 17-year-old winger Ben Doak is once again training with the Liverpool first team.
Doak has lived up to the hype since his arrival from Celtic last year, making five appearances for the senior side. And after being asked which youngster’s had caught his eye this campaign during his pre-Southampton press conference today, Klopp raved about the jet-heeled teenager.
“Ben Doak, obviously. Nice signs,” said the Liverpool boss. “He’s with us in training again.
“Special boy, really confident. Has something that nobody else delivers really, this kind of dribbling, this kind of straight forward bravery. Technically really good, high speed, super promising. But very young.”
With a full pre-season in which to impress Klopp ahead of him, we expect we’ll be seeing much more of Doak in 2023/24 and beyond.
Doak set for Europa League chance
Liverpool’s failure to qualify for next year’s Champions League won’t be seen as a positive by many at Anfield. But one person who could stand to benefit is Doak.
It’s been reported that Klopp is planning to give the Scotland U21 international plenty of game time during the competition’s opening stages.
In fairness to Doak, he’s perhaps good enough to expect the same treatment no matter the trophy Liverpool are competing for. As Jurgen mentions, he’s shown absolutely no fear whenever he’s been thrown in this season.
But it stands to reason that he won’t yet be trusted in the Champions League, with so much on the line.
In Europe’s secondary competition though, there’ll be a little less at stake for Liverpool. As a result, it could prove to be the perfect breeding ground for the likes of Doak and Stefan Bajcetic to hone their talents.
From what we’ve seen of the Scottish prospect so far, he’s more than good enough to cause some trouble. It’s rare to see such a direct, pacey player who can also marry his speed with quick-thinking and technical quality. Without wishing to get ahead of ourselves, Doak has that.
Klopp clearly thinks so, too. He’s always been a manager who will trust and play young players if he thinks they’re good enough. In Ben’s case, he appears to be in no doubt that he is.