Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp has been pretty steadfast in his inclusion of up-and-coming stars during his tenure at the Merseyside outfit, and could continue this promising trend by continuing to nurture the swiftly blossoming development of teenage sensation Ben Doak.
The Scottish forward, signed for the Reds from Scottish Premiership champions Celtic last year for a compensation fee of £600k, has received the confidence of his German manager despite not yet reaching his 18th year, having made a handful of senior displays this season.
The Dalry born 17-year-old has indeed already chalked up five professional appearances for the Merseyside giants, albeit only playing for a total of 60 minutes, but the evident faith in his ability and performance among his senior teammates speaks volumes when considering the impact he will have on the fold over the coming years.
And while the precocious winger is still yet to earn his professional starting debut, it’s only a matter of time before he clinches that coveted place on the team sheet, very much in contention to cement a starting berth in the Liverpool system with more regularity as he grows into his skin.
The three-cap Scotland U21 international had previously made two senior appearances for the Hoops despite his tender age, but it was his level of performance at youth level that earned him the monumental move to the Premier League.
Speaking to The Athletic, former youth coach Evan Fairns said “he was like a wee rocket; he was fearless, and a delight to coach”, and Ayr United scout also waxed lyrical about the sensation, saying “The first time I saw him, I could see there was something special there; I was like ‘wow’.”
It is the blistering form from his formative years that erected a position at the forefront of Scottish youth football, consequently earning him a move of great magnitude to Liverpool, where he maintains a full belief in his eventual breakthrough into the first-team fray.
With Liverpool indeed struggling for form and fluidity this term, languishing in tenth place in the Premier League and having fallen to meek defeats across the past two league fixtures – versus Brentford and Brighton & Hove Albion – a spark of youthful ingenuity could prove the key in stabilising the ship, and the “fiery” 17-year-old, as dubbed by Reds correspondent Kiefer MacDonald, could soon make the resounding impact that Klopp will be assured in his mind is forthcoming.
Klopp will be cautious to push too much emphasis on a budding talent that has not yet reached full bloom, but he will continue to push Doak to his potential with further showings for this Liverpool side, with every confidence that a wily winger already exuding self-belief and determination will eventually find a place in an ambitious outfit looking to maintain a position among the elite of European football.