Liverpool fans and manager Jurgen Klopp have reason to be excited about a young talent quietly making waves at the club – Ben Doak.
Scotland under-21 boss Scot Gemmill couldn’t contain his enthusiasm after witnessing the Liverpool winger’s exceptional performance against Spain during a UEFA European U21 Championship qualifier. Gemmill remarked, “Imagine a fully-fit Ben Doak! It was an exceptional performance from Ben Doak. I would even add that there’s more to come from him. He’s not fully match fit at the moment because of his limited minutes as he is playing for such a good club. I thought it was a really top performance, and hopefully, everyone saw that.”
The notion that Doak isn’t yet fully fit isn’t due to injury concerns but rather a nod to his limited playing time this season. He has been straddling the line between the first-team fringes and the Academy, which has restricted his playing minutes.
Despite strong showings in pre-season, including appearances against teams like Karlsruhe, Greuther Furth, and Leicester City, as well as scoring against Leicester, Doak has seen limited action during the Premier League season. His competition, Mohamed Salah, has kept him on the bench, with Doak only accumulating 13 minutes from a substitute appearance during the opening weekend draw at Chelsea.
However, Doak has demonstrated his talent at a young age. He arrived at Liverpool from Scottish Premiership champions Celtic for £600,000 last summer, already boasting experience in an Old Firm derby against Rangers. Liverpool captain Virgil van Dijk praised the young Scot’s qualities, stating, “He’s very exciting, very direct, one-v-one. I call him a Tasmanian devil with the way he is buzzing around, he’s just so quick. If his decision-making gets better, and he has all the time in the world for that, then he could definitely be one for the future.”
Doak’s journey through Liverpool’s ranks has been impressive, starting with a goal just five minutes into his first game for the U18s. He quickly made his way to the U21s, scoring on his first start against Everton in a mini-derby. He made contributions in the UEFA Youth League, scoring four goals and providing four assists. His first-team debut in the League Cup against Derby County showcased his potential, earning praise from Jurgen Klopp.
While Doak’s opportunities for Liverpool have been limited this season, the young winger has shown glimpses of his potential. With the League Cup and Europa League campaigns set to begin, there could be more chances for him to shine. Liverpool fans can only imagine the possibilities when Ben Doak is fully fit and given more opportunities to showcase his talent.