Liverpool’s pre-season preparations for the new campaign have seen both positives and negatives but a shining light throughout has been 17-year-old Ben Doak.
Signed from Celtic last year for only £600,000, the winger shone at youth level last season for the Reds, scoring 11 goals and assisting a further eight across 27 matches. On Merseyside, the 17-year-old displayed his pace and directness on the right wing and that earned him some first-team minutes throughout the last campaign.
Doak made his debut against Derby County in the Carabao Cup and went on to play four more times for Jurgen Klopp’s team. The German coach brought the winger with the Reds for their pre-season preparation and the 17-year-old has grabbed the opportunity with both hands.
Writing in his latest exclusive column for CaughtOffside, Liverpool journalist Neil Jones believes Doak’s performances will see him stick around for the season, rather than a loan spell, and that the winger’s skills could help change games late on.
Jones wrote: “Ben Doak has been one of the real breakout stars of pre-season, and I’d be amazed if he wasn’t kept around the first-team squad this season. I’m sure there are tons of clubs who would love to take him on loan – in fact, I know there are! – but his ability to impact games from the bench, especially in the final 10-15 minutes against tired defences, means that he can be a real asset for Klopp. Yes, Liverpool are well-stocked in forward areas right now, but we saw last season how quickly those numbers can dwindle as injuries take hold, and having someone like Doak, fearless, quick and dangerous, in reserve would be more than useful. I’d expect him to stay.”
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