The Emergence of Ben Doak has been a revelation

LINZ, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Ben Doak of Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 group stage match between LASK and Liverpool FC on September 21, 2023 in Linz, Austria. (Photo by Guenther Iby/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)
LINZ, AUSTRIA - SEPTEMBER 21: Ben Doak of Liverpool during the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 group stage match between LASK and Liverpool FC on September 21, 2023 in Linz, Austria. (Photo by Guenther Iby/SEPA.Media /Getty Images) /

From Kaide Gordon in 2021 to Ben Doak in 2023, Liverpool have expressed interest in letting their young players get time with the Senior Club. A highly prized prospect, Ben Doak left Celtic after not getting enough senior club time in Scotland.

He recently, signed an extension to stay with the Reds, so Doak is at Liverpool for the foreseeable future.

The Dairy native, has made his breakthrough in the Liverpool squad in 2023. Signed for €600,000 in 2022, Leeds reportedly offered more money for the pacey winger but his eyes were set on Jürgen Klopp’s Reds.

At 17 years old, he is the backup to Mohamed Salah on the right wing. Having played only 13 Premier League minutes so far in 2023-2024, he is a permanent fixture for the cup matches.

With Liverpool playing in the Europa League, Doak earned the start against Austrian club, LASK. He had the most successful dribbles in the match.

A curse for Liverpool fans with the Europa League but a blessing for Young talent like Quansah, Gravenberch and Doak. With game time being minimal in the best league in the world, staying sharp and content is exactly what Cup games and the Europa League offers.

The 17 year old has only been featured for the 13 minutes against London Giant, Chelsea in Match week one. With all the talk about the midfield and defensive rebuilds being thrown around for Liverpool, their attacking is their strength.

Yet, Doak isn’t at the top of that list. His performance against Leicester in the League Cup, is very indicative of what Doak is as a player. He was the most accurate passer with a success rate of 96%.

He was causing loads of problems after Leicester took their 1-0 lead. Having a joy down the right flank like The Egyptian King, Mohamed Salah does every match day.

Jurgen Klopp never shies away from playing his youngsters. Curtis Jones, Ben Doak, Kaide Gordon and Harvey Elliott have received praise under Klopp over the years.

The key for Doak is to keep building and gaining game time and the trust of the Gaffer.

Scotland boss Steve Clark said;

Anybody who watched the under 21’s game ( verse Spain) – and I did watch it – could see he is really good” referring to Doak. He played against immense talent and a very expensive under 21 Spain team. Yet, it’s not always rainbows and sprinkles. Clark continued to say “ In the second half he didn’t get in the game much, he is a young man learning the game”.

At 17 years old, that is a high praise for Doak. Scotland are a subtle powerhouse with a bunch of talent all over the pitch. They have Scott McTominay and John McGinn playing as a winger and Center Attacking Midfielder, respectively.

Both are used as Center Midfielders at their respective clubs. The next step for Doak is to crack the Scotland senior club and be a regular for their fixtures.

What does Doak do well?

Winger talent is a necessity for the biggest clubs on the planet. Doak is a serious talent at Right Wing, hence why Klopp didn’t loan him out at 17.

His low center of gravity and ability to dribble past defenders is his highest quality. Yet , as a shorter player, his strength is nothing to sleep on.

Using his broad shoulders and high IQ, his ability to see when to drop his shoulder and when to perform a faint dummy is tremendous at a young age. The most important quality he possesses is attacking at every instance.

Against Leicester, he attacked James Justin all night long and shook him into the box at multiple occasions.

He is at Liverpool at a time when they have 3 players that are world class, Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz and Mohamed Salah. To learn as much as he can from them may be what Doak needs to continue rising up the ranks.

What does he need to improve?

As Steve Clark said “ the young man is learning the game”, Doak is. Having only played 13 minutes in 2023 in the Premier League, he needs to stay sharp and content with this for now. That is a young players kryptonite.

His finishing isn’t anywhere near his best quality, missing 2 big chances against Leicester and hitting the woodwork once from inside the 5 yard box isn’t great.

He could’ve easily had 2-3 goals within the first 45 minutes of that match.

Every great Liverpool team starts with defense, linking up and playing tika-taka football. Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah did it together for 5 seasons as one of the best duos in the world.

Sometimes the easy pass is better than the harder one on one. But Doak’s confidence has never wavered and that’s why he has loads of potential.

The young Scottish winger has been fantastic this year for the Reds. With loads of potential, he hasn’t even reached his ceiling yet. Only time will tell how great he could be, but right now, Liverpool have a Top Prospect running around Anfield.

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