A look at how Ben Doak could fit into Liverpool's long-term plans

  • Ben Doak feels like he has been around forever, but he still has so much room to grow within the Liverpool setup
  • He plays a direct and exciting style down the right wing that could be utilized in almost any system
  • If he can recover from his injury properly, the sky could be the limit for the lad
R. Union Saint-Gilloise v Liverpool FC: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24
R. Union Saint-Gilloise v Liverpool FC: Group E - UEFA Europa League 2023/24 / BSR Agency/GettyImages

If this recently concluded season taught us anything about football, it's to expect the unexpected, as if we needed any reminding of that.

However, even with that notion not being anything new, you would be hard-pressed to have many pundits and fans tell you they could have seen the Liverpool youth revolution that we saw this past season.

Conor Bradley, Jarell Quansah, Bobby Clark, Jayden Danns, Lewis Koumas and Luke Chambers are some of the names that burst onto the Reds first team scene this campaign.

Yet, there was a player that we DID expect to have his long awaited breakthrough in 2023/24, Ben Doak. Unfortunately, his season was cut short with a serious knee injury that still has him on the path to recovery.

Today I wanted to take a look at Doak to see how he could still have a big role to play at Liverpool under Arne Slot if he can overcome his current injury issues. Let's dive into it.

Doak has shown the right mindset from the beginning

Doak joined Liverpool from Celtic in the summer of 2022 as a 16-year old high-level prospect. In his time at Celtic, then current manager and now Tottenham boss Ange Postecoglu, gave him some First Team looks to entice him to stay.

As it were, he joined the Reds in a £600,000 deal and would sign his first professional deal when he turned 17 that winter.

Ben Doak, Greg Taylor
Celtic FC v Rangers FC - Cinch Scottish Premiership / Mark Runnacles/GettyImages

Doak has thrived at every level since making the move south as he played well for Liverpool's U18s, U19s and U21s. His intense focus and energy are two qualities that set him apart from some of his contemporaries.

He does not approach the game with any fear, if anything he plays better when he is able to bring the fight to an opposing defense.

It was this intensity that was one of the many factors that Jurgen Klopp saw in the young Scot to bring him to Anfield.

How does his skillset mesh into Liverpool's style?

Doak is a prototypical winger in that he knows where he is going with the ball and has the ability to get there.

You can bet your bottom dollar that he is most likely making a hard cut for the byline to then work a cutback, cross or more dribbles from there. He has an underrated close control ability when on the ball that allows him to navigate tight situations near the touchline.

Prior to his knee injury, he had strong pace in the bag as well. If you can guarantee his full return to health, there is still a big future for him at only 18.

The question then comes whether or not he should be sent on loan or stick around as a super sub and cup option.

Slot likes to promote an attacking style in his own right, although he does not always field a true winger in his formation. This would mean a slightly more centralized role for Doak. While he is gifted on the ball, his game could use some improvement in terms of decision making and passing range.

These are areas that again, an 18-year old can always improve. He showed in his few first team appearances this season that he won't be out of place in this Liverpool side.

If another forward is brought in, it should not relegate Doak to the outside looking in. A loan could help him elevate just like it did for Bradley, but I would not be shocked if he gets 25 games under Slot next season and puts up 8-12 G/A.

Ben Doak is one of Liverpool's best young talents, even still now. Get him fit and watch him play a key role in some capacity going forward.