Jurgen Klopp has revealed the message he gave to 16-year-old Ben Doak moments before he made his senior Liverpool debut against Derby County on Wednesday.
The former Celtic youth star was introduced as a second-half substitute and caught the eye of most Reds fans with his confident dribbling and quick movement.
The teenager, who will celebrate his 17th birthday tomorrow, moved to Merseyside from Glasgow earlier this summer in order to continue his development and his manager was keen to issue praise.
“That’s Ben,” the German tactician explained (via Liverpool World). “His instructions were easy: do what you do all the time. He is really a lively boy, a smart player, good dribbler, fast, can use both legs. He’s good. It was nice to watch, really nice to watch – him coming in and immediately a lot of things are obviously natural to him, which is really helpful.
“I am pretty sure his family was here tonight. I can remember when I saw the family at the AXA (Training Centre) when we signed the boy, how excited everybody was.
“Now having this night, it’s the next step, it’s cool. He showed up, obviously.”
Despite only being on the pitch for 16 minutes, the Scotsman completed three of his four dribbles and looked very comfortable out on the pitch despite his tender age.
Former Red Stephen Warnock labelled the winger’s performance as ‘exciting’ as he sent a huge message of intent to Klopp and made it clear that he’s more than capable of competing for a spot in the first team.
Calvin Ramsay, Stefan Bajcetic and Melkamu Frauendorf also impressed as they were handed rare starts under the lights at L4.
We certainly believe that Doak is in the best possible place to continue developing as a player and under the guidance of the former Borussia Dortmund boss, the sky really is the limit for the young talent.