Liverpool youngster Ben Doak has revealed that he’s using Mo Salah as inspiration and looking to the Egyptian for help on how he can develop his game.
The former Celtic star scored on his debut for Scotland U21s against Northern Ireland on Thursday and has been impressing for the Reds’ younger age groups this season.
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The teenager signed from the Glasgow-based outfit earlier this year after making his senior debut for Ange Postecoglou’s side back in January.
Often deployed as a winger, Doak can also operate at fullback and is one of the club’s most exciting young talents – the 16-year-old revealed that he’s been looking up to Salah since his move to Merseyside.
“My debut for the Under-21s just felt like any other game to be honest,” the starlet told the Glasgow Times (via the Liverpool Echo). “I wasn’t really nervous. The boys have been good with me and I have settled in and I felt very comfortable. For me recently, there’s been a lot of adjustments, but I think I’ve been comfortable and I think I have done really well with the changes.
“It’s mostly been about me getting to know people – the football has not really changed – it’s been about getting to know the boys and the staff at the new club. I just need to try and keep getting better, particularly on the off-the-ball stuff.
“I am trying to make what I do on the ball a lot better. That’s one of my strengths, but you can always do better. I look up to Mo Salah obviously. Even if he is not having the greatest of games he always pops up with a goal. His numbers are incredible and speak for themselves.
“I scored against Napoli in the Youth League. It helps that I’ve done really well in the first couple of games. I’ve got all the numbers to back that up as well. Even if I am not having a good game, I can just look back to what I have done earlier in the season to keep my confidence up.
“Six months ago you would never have found me defending whatsoever. And that’s the difference between making it into a first team player rather than just a youth player. I am trying to turn my all-round game into a strength.
“I have not seen the first team too often, but I think that’s deliberate and to make you want to get up there. If I saw them all the time it wouldn’t be normal. It should be a privilege to be up there.”
Doak cost the Reds a sizeable £600,000 this summer and although he was earning senior minutes at Celtic Park, the Scotsman insists that he’s made the right decision in heading to England to continue his development.
“I was just trying to think of the best path to go down to get better as a football player,” Doak added. “But once I went down there to Liverpool and saw the standards and the facilities, it’s top, top level. You don’t get any better than where I am at right now.
“I’m in the best place.”
Jurgen Klopp is not afraid to place faith in young talents with 19-year-old Harvey Elliott just one of many to have flourished under the guidance of the former Borussia Dortmund boss.
With the attacker continuing to impress both for club and country, it may be a matter of time before we see the talented teenager involved with the Liverpool first team or sent out on loan to gain vital experience at senior level.
Training alongside the likes of Mo Salah and Luis Diaz will help the young winger develop his game further while Tyler Morton, Leighton Clarkson and Sepp van den Berg are just a few of the club’s Academy stars that are currently playing regular first-team football out on loan.
Elliott benefitted hugely from his time on loan at Blackburn Rovers and the same would be hoped for Doak whenever Klopp thinks he’s ready for a loan move.
It’s great to see that he’s enjoying his time at the club and we wish him all the best for the future.